Skip to main content
Internet Archive's 25th Anniversary Logo

Full text of "History of the German People from the Earliest Times to the Accession of Emperor William II ..."

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on Hbrary shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http : //books . google . com/| 

m^ H;# Com/1?'' ^v/Av 



f ft J# # 


r. J 


^i^/ =.^ 





' ( 







1 1. 

x« ^T 

Kollec rCHIIjelm I. 
Emperor Wllltam I. 



> ! VRLll Vr TIN.' 
J- A '.I --ShiV K 

. )R WILl i \M II. 

'. .i fi 1 III- <"» w' 

' -'V ]: .1' :.m: 

• 1 N 

I I ! W. 

' "^^ -rfi.VS. 

• » » 

' • . : •. . I 

^ . K I-: .^L i:o 

N. S 


V >, 

> 1 















Author of ** The Protbctivb Tariff," Etc. 











Introduction, ... . . . • » 17 

The Ancient Gebmans, ..... 81 

Conflict op tke Romans and Teutons, ... 47 

From Fall of Western Roman EifPiRS to End of the 


From the Hohenstaufen to the Hohenzollbrn, . . 186 

Thb Hohenzollern Dynasty, 187 

Prince William — His Biuto and Youth, .... 219 

As Crown Prince of Prussia, ..... 274 

The Rbyolution in Baden, 889 

pRiNCB William as King William I. of Prussia, . . 849 

ThbAustro-Prubsian War, ..... 878 

The Franco-Prussian War, ..... 406 

Emperor William's Ecclesiastical War, . . . 447 

Emperor William I. as a Man, .... 462 

Death and Burial of Emperor William I., . . . 474 

Unser Fritz, ..... 488 

Emperor William II., . . , , , . 012 




Empsbob William I., 



a hohbnzollbrn family in 1200, .... 83 

At Ybbsaillbs on the 18th of January, 1871, . * 368 

Battle near Doffikgbn, ..... 90 

Bismarck Escorts Napoleon III. to Belleyub Castle, 348 

Bbinoing Offerings for the War of Independence, 275 

Charlemagne Inflicting Baptism i pon the Saxons, . 40 
Conferring Knighthood, . . .53 

Council of War in Novbmber, 1870, ... 357 
Crown Prince William (now Emperor William II.) and 

W^iFB, ....... 863 

Cbown Pbincb Frederick William and Wife (late Em- 

PEBOR Frederick III. and the Empress Victoria,) 482 
Decoration of Fredebick III. with the Order '• Pour le 

Mebitb" upon the Battle-field op Eoniggratz, 335 

Elizabeth Christine, Wife of Frederick the Great, 140 

Emperor William I., . . . 304 

Emperor William I., . . . . . . 386 

Empress Augusta, . . . . . . 313 

Four Generations — Emperor William I., Son, Grandson 

AND Great-Grandson, ..... 370 

Frederick William, the Great Elector, . . . 9G 

Fredbbick the Great in His Library, . • .211 





Fredeuick the Great after the Battle of Torgam, . 162 

Frederick the Great Entering Potsdam in 1779, . 171 

Frederick the Great after the Battle of Koltn, . 156 

Frederick the Great Playing the Flute, . . 203 

FiiSDERicK William I. Inspecting His Grenadiers, . 127 

Frederick the Great and Voltaire, . . . 178 

Frederick William IV. in His Study, . , . 297 

FuEDEiucK III., Late Emperor op Germany^ . . 495 

Frederick III. in His Study, ..... 507 

Funeral Procession of Emperor William I., . 412 

General Field-Marshal Count Hslmuth von Molxke . 326 

King Frederick William I., . . . . 105 

King Frederick I., . . . . . .118 

King Frederick II. (The Great), ... V6i 

King Frederick William III., .... 218 

King Frederick William IV., .... 291 

King William at the Tomb of His Parents on July 19, 1870, 

Previous to His Departure to the Army, . . 342 

Marshal Blucher, ...... 258 

Mounted Goth, ...... 21 

Peter the Hermit, . . . . . .61 

Prince Oito von Bismarck, Chancellor of ihe Realm, 320 

Queen Sophia Charlotte. Wife of Frederick I., . . Ill 

Queen Louise with Her Two Sons in 1797, . . 242 

Queen Louise, ....... 235 

Queen Louisa, ...... 251 

Reconciliation of Frederick the Great and His Father, 149 



Social GATHBRiNe at Saks-Souci, .... 195 

The Execution of the Wife of the Traitor Goth, . 27 

The Goths in Rome, . . . . . ' 87 

The Four Leaders of the First Crusade, . . .67 

The Huns in Germany, ..... 43 

Teuton Women Defending the Cars Against MARnm, . 15 

The Sick Emperor William I. and Bismarck, . • 392 

The Mourning German Family, . . . ' . 407 

The Dead Emperor William I., . . . 401 
The Dowager Empress Victoria, .... 499 
Transferring the Emperor's Remains to Charlottenbbrg, 421 

The Old HoHSNzoLiiERN Castle, . . . .74 

The Berlin Congress, ..... 879 

The Late Emperor William I. at the Age of Nine, . 282 

William II., Emperor of Gerbiant, ... 510 

In oomlderatloii of the rast numben of our Ctennaa 
fellow-citijBeiu who are most coDversant with the German 
language, and who desire to have the romantic story of the 
Qerman Fatherland in their native mother-tongue, the 
publishers have also issued this work in the Qerman lan- 




History records the fact that, for the last fifteen hun- 
dred years, Germany's limited territory has been the 
great battlefield upon which the periodical struggles be- 
tween determined peoples for the possession of territory, 
the supremacy of moral ideas, and the unyielding wars 
between dynasties, have taken place. 

As a consequence, the inhabitants of her most flour- 
ishing districts and cities were the endless victims of fire 
and sword. Almost before a city had been rebuilt, or a 
stubborn farmer changed his devastated acres into ripen- 
ing fields of grain, another army, with burning torch and 
tramping legions, knocked at its gate, marched into its 
fields, sacked its cities and destroyed its people. To real- 
ize this state of insecurity it is but necessary to remind 
the reader of the invasion of the Huns under Attila, the 
" Mass Conversions " of the Saxons by Charlemagne, the 
interminable struggles for the possession of the Imperial 
crown of Germany, for the extension and accessions of 
territory by contesting rulers, the religious and political 
commotions of the great Eeformation, the Thirty Years' 
War, which came very near depopulating Germany, the 
overrunning of the Palatinate — the Bhinish provinces — 
by the soldiers of Louis XIV., under command of the no- 
torious Melac, the Seven Tears* War of Frederick the 
Great against all the powers of Europe, and last, but not 
least, the devastating wars of Napoleon I. against Prussia 
and Bussia. 

In view of this never-ending strife, consider for a 
moment of what stuff these people were made to with- 

^ - 17 


stand the constantly recurring destruction of their homes, 
their cities and accumulations, and still are to be found to- 
day in the front ranks of art, science, literature^in fine, in 
every walk that denotes the highest state of modern 
civilization ! 

The immediate cause, however, which gave the first 
impulse to German emigration across the Atlantic was 
the inhumanities practiced by French General Melac to- 
wards the Protestant inhabitants of the Ehinish provinces. 

Scarcely had the two destructive armies of the Thirty 
Years' War turned their backs upon the starving inhabit- 
ants of the farms and villages of Southern Germany ere 
the French army of Melac was turned loose upon the 
Northern portion, transforming one of the most fertile re- 
giohTinto a barren desert!^ 

The terrible winter of 1708 and 1709 seems to have 
filled their cup of misery to overflowing. 

In their famishing straits, applying in vain to the au- 
thorities for assistanoe, their sorrowful eyes were at last 
turned towards the New World. 

Through the exertions of a Protestant clergyman, 
Joshua von Hochertal, of the city of Landau, his cojigre- 
gation succeeded in securing transportation to London, 
from whence, through the mediation of Queen Anne, they 
were sent upon English ships to the colonies in the year 

The speculative Englishman, who had long before 
seized upon the best lands of " this goodly country," soon 
discovering the stern qualities of the new-comers, under- 
stood their adaptability to agricultural pursuits and trade, 
and soon induced the well-satisfied immigrants to write 
back to friends and relatives at home ^^ to come over." 


So eflectoal were these cheering missives that in June 
of the following year 14,000 Rhinish and Swabian Ger- 
mans were waiting in London for passage to the land of 
golden opportunities. 

Reaching the colonies in safety, they were invited by 

the Quakers of Philadelphia to come into Pennsylvania, 

which invitation was accepted, and there was laid the 

foundation of a highly-appreciated class of American 

husbandmen and artisans, miscalled the Pennsylvania 


In the trail of this industrious class, which, during the 

first quarter of the last century flocked to the New World, 
there came a class of very undesirable emigrants, a mul- 
titude of dangerous and worthless characters, who^ in the 
wake of now disbanded armies, had plundered the defense- 
less inhabitants, and robbed the dead and wounded upon 
the many battlefields — in short, the outcasts created by 
long and destructive wars in Germany. Under various 
subterfuges they had secured transportation and were now 
congregated in the few cities of the coast, refusing to 
work and preying upon their more prosperous country- 

In consequence of this disturbing element, the security 
of property was threatened and discredit was cast upon 
all emigrants from Germany. 

Accordingly, the colonial authorities of Pennsylvania 
in 1727 believed themselves called upon to pass restrictive 
regulations against emigrants from Germany in general, 
which, as wiU be seen, were extremely severe and humili- 
ating to that nationality. 

The act provided the payment of a tax of forty shillings 
per head be demanded of every German landing upon its 


shores — the same tax that was required for the landing of 
an imported negro slave, while only half that sum, twenty 
shillings, was demanded of an Irishman — an obnoxious 
discrimination, which time seems not to have obliterated. 
As in the case of all unjust laws, the doors of outrageous 
abuses were opened. 

The honest but destitute emigrant, who had secured 
his passage under the promise of refunding the money 
upon securing employment, unable to pay this tax, was 
sold the same as a slave to the highest bidder, by which 
outrage the members of families were often ruthlessly 

It was but natural that emigrants arriving under such 
circumstances should have engendered in the minds of 
the native colonists feelings of commiseration mingled 
with contempt. 

However, these hardships were of but temporary dura- 
tion. Diligently and faithfully performing every duty» 
bearing their humiliation with meekness, they gradually 
succeeded in emancipating themselves from this state of 

Thousands of valuable estates in Pennsylvania, still in 
possession of the descendants of these emigrants, attest 
to the truth of the golden opinions finally won by them, 
and after recorded in the historical annals of the Key- 
stone State. 

But the prejudice and disdain which these early Ger- 
mans had unmeritedly received from the English had 
hardly disappeared when a laofe serious cause for bring- 
ing the Germans into disrepute was found. 

In the eariy stages of the War for Independence, when 
the colonists had taxed th^nselves to the utmost limit in 


fiin gotlit((l[er Seller. 

iNTRODUCrriON, 23 

blood and treasure, it was discovered that thousands ol 
Oermans had been hired by the English government to 
assist in subduing them. 

This fact was sufficient to re-awaken the old prejudice, 
and to create a sentiment of antipathy toward any person 
coming from Germany or bearing a German name — which 
in this instance, without a knowledge of the real condition 
of things, was quite excusable. 

They could not know, and if they had known they 

would not have believed it possible, that sovereigns would 

liave bartered whole ship-loads of their subjects as cattle 

and horses are bought and sold. 

The principal actors in this monstrous traffic were 

the Ministers of England on the one side and the Prince 

of the Electorate of Hesse and the Margrave of Ansba^h. 

According to the historian Schlosser, not less tlian 
20,000 of these so-called " Hessian hirelinp^s " were added to 
the English army in their warfare against the American 

It is a well authenticated fact that but few of these men 
enrolled voluntarily, and those who did were deceived as 
to the real point of destination. Most of them were 
pressed into the service. 

Kegular rnzzids were organized in Southern Germany. 
Young men were seized by recruiting emissaries, 
dragged to the nearest garrison, from whence they were 
transported in gangs, under strong military escort, to 

The German poet, Seume, who afterward became a 
noted writer, was one of these victims, and the details of 
his experience, which is that of thousands of others, are 
as follows : 

24 iNTRODttCTTOlt. 

Returning home on a vacation from the University of 
Leipsic, he was seized by Hessian recruiting agents and 
thrown into the Fortress of Ziegenheim. He says in his 
biography : " Upon learning the object of our imprison- 
ment, a number of us resolved to revolt, but the plot was 
revealed to the officers of the garrison. We were ordered 
into line in front of the Arsenal, covered by a regiment of 
infantry and several pieces of artillery. The leaders were 
called to the front, two of them sentenced to be hung and 
others ordered to run the gauntlet." 

"It would not do," says Seume, " to hang too many of 
us, because we were expensive articles of merchandise, 
and England pays nothing for dead soldiers. After our 
arrival in Long Island, we again attempted to rebel 
against our captors, as we preferred to fight on the side 
of the Americans; but the preliminaries for peace between 
the United States and England had begun before our 
plan could be executed." 

This short and truthful story of the experiences of a 
" Hessian hireling" was that of thousands of others, and 
is a dreadful exposition of the infamous trade in human 
flesh carried on by philanthropic England and the dissi- 
pated and heartless Drincelings of two small German 

The writings, in prose and verse, of the most noted and 
popular poets and historians of Germany, the great 
Frederick Schiller among them, who at the time denounced 
the infamous traffic, only reflected the prevailing sentiment 
of the people at large. 

In this connection it is pleasant to remember that 
Frederick the Great, the first great king of the Hohen- 
zoUem family, made public his sentiments in the matter 


by ref asing passage through the Prussian territory of these 
troops. Said he to the Hessian ambassador : " Tell your 
master if I allow these Hessians passage through my 
lands, I will lay a cattle-tax upon them, as they are to be 
sold to England like cattle." 

That this was the feeling aiso of the German settlers 
m the colonies is supported by the fact that, in spite of 
the allurements and liberal inducements offered by Eng- 
land, they remained loyal to the cause of Independence, 
and joined the colonial ranks in large numbers under the 
command of Mcolaus and Hengist Herkeimer and Jacob 

It is a somewhat significant fact, tnat no historian 
writing in the English language has mentioned this cir- 
cumstance. This duty of making known to the reading 
Germans the part their countrymen took in the colonial 
rebellion has been faithfully performed by Frederick 
Kapp who, in his "History of the Germans of New 
York," says : " The German farmers were not, as has been 
stated by Burnet, in favor of England, but against her. 
They constituted, as it were, the strong wall which 
resisted the enemy's incursions and baiBed all their 
attempts to separate the Eastern and Northern colonies 
from the Southern. "While with the rest they participated 
in the common struggle, shedding their blood for the cause 
of Independence, they are entitled to a share of the glory 
of the great achievement. But for the pflBciency and 
stubbornness of the German troops from the Mohawk and 
Schoharie it is questionable whether the cause of the colo- 
nists, which has resulted in so great a blessing to mankind, 
would have eventually triumphed. And what was the con- 
duct of the German-Americans toward the country of their 



adoption at the outbreak and during the late civil war I 
Is it not a fact that, without a single exception, they ex- 
pressed themselves most loyal to the cause of the Union, 
demonstrating their professions by joining the first armed 
levies en masse t Of the first 75,000 men called out 
by President Lincoln, it is safe to say that not less than 
one-fourth of the number were of German nationalitv. 
The State of New York furnished several regiments, com- 
posed almost exclusively of German- Americans, as did 
Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois ; of the first five 
regiments furnished by Missouri, two-thirds of the men 
were Germans. 

How well they did their duty on every battlefield is 
evinced by the many thousand German names recorded 
on the nation's roll of honor. 

In peace, in their homes, in their business relations, in 
their occupations as farmers, artisans, merchants, profes- 
sionals, artists and musicians, do they not compare favor- 
ably with every other foreigner coming to these shores ? 
Do the poor-houses, jails and penal institutions of the 
country contain a larger proportion of German- Americans 
than those of other nationalities? The people of the 
countries which stand at the front of civilization to-day 
are all descendants of the old Teuton tribes of Germany, 
and it is a sad commentary upon the much-vaunted state 
of social and political progress in this country, that blind 
prejudice has been, and is still, the greatest barrier against 
a friendly commingling of these different nationalities, 
which is an absolute requisite to the formation of national 
homogeneousness — the prosperity and strength of the 
Republic. There is no doubt, that under the most favor- 
able circumstances, to amalgamate the most restless, dar* 

Die E^inridrtnng >«r jrau tints golljifdieii VtaSttfos- 




ing and unyielding of the various nationalities which have 
been and now are spreading over the North American 
continent, into one great American nationality, having 
its own type, its physical and intellectual characteristics, 
it will require years yet of animadversion and strife. 

But when existing differences have been adjusted 
through a right understanding of the claims of each, 
when objectionable tendencies have been checked, the 
asperities as well as salient characteristics of each, tem- 
pered by a growing sentiment of tolerance, and only that 
which is pure and ennobling and in full hatmony with the 
genius of American institutions retained, then will there 
be, distinctively no more Anglo-Saxon, Celt, Sclav, 
Scandinavian, French or German, but a people whose 
characteristics have been inherited from the healthiest 
and strongest tribes in mind and body — "The survival 
of the fittest." The author has offered these glimpses of 
German- American history merely to show the reader that 
although the Germans are citizens of the United States, 
and loyal to its government, they hold in reverence the 
memory of the man who was the embodiment of German 
unity and power — ^not to be interpreted, however, as the 
adoration of pomp and splendor, but as the spontaneous 
acknowledgment of a grateful people toward a monarch 
to whom they are indebted for the realization of a dream 
of nearly twenty centuries' duration. 



IN THIS ago of historical, ethnological and philological 
research, to write a complete history of the Teutonic 
people would require the lifetime of a man untrained in 
these particular branches of study. That duty must be 
left to men of more leisure, and with a greater capacity 
and love for delving into tomes of musty lore than the 
author claims to possess. 

Therefore, in this short sketch of the Germans, pre- 
ceding the life of Emperor William I., the object is 
merely to give the reader a general idea of the origin, 
geographical situation in Europe, the early conditions, the 
customs and laws of this ancient people, in order that he 
may have a fair knowledge of the nation of fifty million 
souls, Iv^hich to-day mourns the loss of its imperial chief. 

It is generally supposed that the Germanic races, col- 
lectively called Teutons, were a branch of the Aryan 
family of nations, who, at a period of which there is 
no record, migrated from Asia across the Ural and Cau- 
casus mountains to the northwestern part of Kussia. 

It is known from a similarity in many of the earliest 
linguistic groups, that the Germanic tribes and Slavs were 
in constant intercourse. But the first authentic geo- 
graphical situation of these more than fifty tribes, out- 
lined by historians, was within the boundaries of the Rhine, 
the Danube and the Vistula — ^the three largest rivers of 

The earliest aocoimt of their advent upon the political 



stage of Europe, is in the year 102 b. c, when, as 
Kingsley says, "the Kempers and Teutons broke over 
the Alps with a force of 300,000 men and 15,000 mailed 
knights, armed with broad-swords and lances, and roam- 
ing over the sunny plains of Italy, stumbled upon Marius 
with his Roman legions, who utterly destroyed them." 

A people able to muster such an immense force of 
armed men, pre-supposes organization, military drill, dis- 
cipline, plan, and a certain degree of administrative ability, 
as well as a certain amount of skill and handicraft in the 
manufacture of arms and equipments, indispensable to the 
efficiency of any army in the field. 

No parallel, therefore, can be drawn between a people 
thus advanced and the roving tribes of predatory North 
American savages, as has been attempted by the historian 

True, they were a primitive people, in a state of semi- 
barbaric simplicity, living in the primeval forests of Cen- 
tral Europe, but nursing within their breasts the germ of 
a civilization which has spread over the Western half of 
the globe. 

While, to the contrary, " had Gibbon been right," says 
Kingsley, " and our forefathers in the German wilds had 
been like Powhatan's people, as the English found them 
in Virginia, the Eomans would not have been long in 
civilizing them off the face of the earth." 

Occupying a country abounding in game, the little land 
they cultivated richly repaying their toil, it is probable, 
that for centuries they lived in an isolated but free and 
happy state, little known to the neighbors to the west 
and south of them. As the German historian Menzel 
describes them : — " When the merchants of Tyre and Car- 


thage were weighing their heavy anchors and spreading 
their purple sails for far seas, the Greek was making the 
earth fair by his art, and the Boman was founding his 
colossal empire of force, the Teuton was yet a child; but 
a child of a royal race, destined to win glory for all time 
to come." 

The desire for homogeneousness appears to have pre- 
vailed among the different tribes of the Germanic race, 
long before mention is made in history of their existence. 
Julius CaBsar possessed a knowledge of three distinct 
Germanic confederations about the time of Christ. The 
Suevy confederation comprised the territory between the 
Elbe, the Vistula and the Baltic Sea, which was subse- 
quently extended to Southern Germany, where, under the 
name of Swabians, their descendants are still to be found; 
the tribes of the confederation of the Cherusci, of which 
Arminius, the hero of the battle of " Teutoburger Wald," 
was chief, dwelt upon lands in the vicinity of the Harz 
mountains ; and the Macromanni, under the leadership of 
Mardobuus, occupied the territory along the Danube, and 
later on, the country now known as Bohemia. It is also 
known that the Saxons and Angl^, whose settlements 
stretched along the west bank of the lower Elbe, had also 
formed an alliance for mutual protection. 

Thus early were the aspirations of these Teutonic 
tribes for unity in government put in practice. 

Their manner of settlement seems to have struck Tac- 
itus, a Boman historian, born about 50 b. o., as peculiar. 

" That none of the several peoples in Germany," says 
he, " live together in cities, is abundantly known; nay, that 
amongst them none of their dwellings are suffered to be 
contiguous. They settle apart and distinct, just as a 


fountain, or a field, or a wood, happens to invite tHem; 
They build their villages not in the manner of the 
Eomans, with houses joining each other. Every man has 
a vacant space around his own, either for security against 
fire, or because they know not the art of building. In all 
their structures they employ materials quite gross and 
unhewn — ^log-houses. Some parts they besmear with an 
earth, so pure and resplendent that it resembles painting 
in colors." 

Of their personal appearance, we are told, "they re- 
sembled none but themselves. With eyes stern and blue, 
yellow hair and huge bodies — ^the same make and form is 
found in all." 

" For their covering they all wear a mantle — a sort of 
loose shirt — fastened with a clasp, or, for the want of it, 
a thorn. As far as this reached not they were naked. 
The dress of the women differed not from that of the men, 
save that they were ordinarily attired in linen, embroidered 
with purple, using no sleeves, so that all their arms were 
bare." This was no doubt their summer costume, as we 
read that the tribes bordering the Rhine, used, without any 
delicicy, the skins of wild beasts. 

In their family relations only the pure were allowed to 
marry. The wife brought no dower to the husband ; on 
the contrary, the husband made the presents ; " they were 
not presents," says Tacitus, "adapted to feminine display 
and delicacy, but oxen, and a horse accoutred, a shield, a 
javelin and sword ; by virtue of these gifts she was 
espoused ; that she might not suppose herself free from 
the considerations of fortitude and fighting, or exempt 
from the casualties of war, the very first solemnities of 
her wedding served to warn her, that she came to her 


husband in his hazards and fatigues ; that she was to 
suffer alike with him ; to adventure alike during peace or 

The oxen joined under one yoke, symbolized the equal 
share of duties between them ; the horse equipped, repre- 
sented readiness for every call to defend countrv and 

These arms were to be preserved inviolate by the wife, 
to be bestowed upon her sons at their marriage, the brides 
of whom must resign them to their sons in turn, and so, 
the halle aux armes became the sacred altar of every 
household at its foundation. 

The ordinary husband was contented with one wife, a 
condition exceptional among the semi-civilized nations of 
that period. It was, however, permitted to a few of the 
most dignified and notable, in order to add to the luster 
of their families, to make other alliances. 

Among a people so numerous, adultery was exceedingly 
rare ; but when committed, was a crime to be instantly 
punished. The punishment was to be inflicted by the 
injured husband. After cutting off the criminal's golden 
hair and stripping her naked, in the presence of her kin- 
dred and family, she was expelled from her home and 
pursued with stripes through the village ; no pardon was 
granted her, however beautiful, however exalted ; a hus- 
band she never more could have ! 

Increase of family was encouraged, and the destruction 
of infant life considered an abominable sin. 

Children were reared naked, and thus grew into those 
limbs, " the size of which," says the historian, " were a 
marvel to behold." They were nourished with the milk 
of their own mothers. By any superior rearing the lord 


could not be distinguished from the slave; but, at a 
proper age, the free born were separated from the rest, 
and henceforth brought up to deeds of valor and conquest. 
It was not, however, allowed to a young man to bear arms 
before the community had attested his capacity to use 
them. Upon such testimonial, either one in authority, or 
his father, or some kinsman, in the midst of the assembly, 
conferred upon him a shield and a javelin. 

This was his mardy robe / this was the first degree of 
honor with which he was invested. Before this ceremony 
the youth was only a part of a private family — after, he 
was a part of the community. 

The dignity of prince was often conferred upon mere 
striplings, whose family were noble, or whose fathers had 
done great and signal service to the state. These were 
at all times surrounded by a numerous band of young 
men — for ornament and glory in peace, for security and 
defense in war. 

These princes become famous through the number of 
their followers and warlike deeds, and by their renown 
alone, were often able to prevent wars. In battle, no 
prince must be surpassed in feats of bravery by his fol- 
lowers; and it was disgraceful for his followers to fall 
behind the bravery of their prince. To return alive from 
a battle in which their prince had been slain was an in- 
famy during life. The most sacred part of their oath, 
obliged them to preserve their prince, to defend him, and 
to ascribe to his glory all ikeir ovm valorous deeds. 

When their own community, by long peace and inac- 
tivity, gave them nothing to do, they, betook themselves 
to other states in war, because, except in perilous adven- 
ture or wars, the prince could not support his numerous 

V'n fflotljen in Horn 


train of retainers. The prince furnished his followers 
with war-horses and javelins. 

After the fatigues of battle they passed their time in 
indolence, sleeping and eating. The most brave and 
warlike applied themselves to nothing but war. They 
' could not be persuaded to cultivate the ground, since they 
deemed it stupid and spiritless to acquire by sweat what 
could be gained by blood. " It was amazing," continues 
Tacitus, ^^to find in men so much delight in sloth with so 
much emnity to repose." 

In recruiting their armies they took out of every village 
one hundred of their most robust young men, and placed 
them as infantry in front of the army. 

Military discipline was not so much maintained by au- 
thority or threats of punishment, as by the valorous ex- 
ample of their chiefs. In the leader, who had distin- 
guished himself in the front rank of battle, they placed 
implicit confidence and strictly obeyed his orders. The 
expression of a wish by the revered chief was law to the 
common soldier. It was not his rank which gave him 
power over his semi-barbaric hordes, but his example. 

The most glaring disgrace that could befall a man was 
to have quitted the field while a battle raged; for one 
branded with such infamy it was unlawful for him to 
join in their religious sacrifices, or to enter into the as- 
sembly, and many such, who had escaped from battle, 
hanged themselves, says the historian, to avoid the 
ignominy heaped upon them by their tribe. 

In conformity with her marriage vows, and by the sig- 
nificance of her dower, the wife was expected to share all 
the hardships, dangers and vicissitudes of her husband — a 
sentiment which seems to be one of the striking charac- 


teristicB of the Grerman of to-day. It was the custom for 
the families of soldiers to accompany them to battle in order 
to witness the bravery of their husbands, brothers, and 
sons, to draw the blood from their wounds with their lips, 
and to carry to them drink and meat while under fire. 
In exti*eme danger the doleful bowlings of the wives and 
children spurred the men on to renewed courage and 
daring, and it is related that at the first great battle of the 
Teutons and Marius, after further resistance became mere 
hopeless desperation, the women, rather than fall into the 
hands of the Roman victors, hung themselves upon the 
horns of oxen to be trampled to death under their feet. 

It is generally accepted as a maxim that the laws of a 
country, whether written or unwritten, reflect the social 
condition of its people. With primitive peoples good 
laws can originate only with such as are naturally endowed 
with a high sense of the justice and duty demanded be- 
tween man and man ; and it was the " good manners " 
spoken of by Tacitus — that is, the morals, honest customs 
and patriotic aspirations, coupled with an innate prin- 
ciple of justice — which existed among the Teutonic tribes 
of Europe that laid the foundation upon which has been 
erected the two greatest monuments of liberty known to 
mankind — the English Magna Charta and the Constitution 
of the United States. 

In the administration of justice in small matters the 
chiefs determined the punishment or restitution of prop- 
erty ; but in matters of importance the wholen ation de- 
liberated. Yet, whatever was decided by the people was 
discussed and pondered over by the chiefs in conclave. 
These assemblies took place every month, at the full of 
the moon if Dossible, and were held at night. " They did 


.not come together at once, as men afraid to disobey," con- 
tinues the historian. " but often days intervened," in which, 
doubtless, the grievances complained of, or the incursions 
upon other territory to be decided upon, were pretty 
thoroughly ventilated and settled. 

Upon assembling they sat down promiscuously, like a 
crowd, all armed. The priests acted as chairmen. The 
lionor of being heard first was accorded to the chiefs, fol- 
lowed by others, according to age, warlike renown, or 
eloquence. The influence of every speaker was measured 
by his powers of persuasion rather than from any author- 
ity to command. If the speaker's proposition displeased 
them they rejected it in low murmurs of dissent ; if, to 
the contrary, it pleased them, they brandished their jave- 
lins. The most honorable manner of signifying their as- 
sent was by the sound of their arms. They were allowed 
to present accusations in these assemblies, and to prose- 
cute capital offenses. Punishment varied according to 
the heinousness of the crime. Traitors and deserters they 
hung upon trees ; cowards, sluggards and prostitutes they 
smothered in the mud and marshes, under heaps of 
hurdles. In lighter transgressions, the delinquent upon 
conviction was condemned to pay a certain number of 
horses or cattle ; part of this was given to the chief or 
community, part to him who had been redressed, or to 
his next of kindred. 

In the same assemblies the chiefs were chosen and such 
rulers as administered justice in communities or villages. 
To each of these, one hundred pereons, chosen from 
amongst the populace, were assigned to assist him in the 
execution of his authority and to bestow upon him their 


In their worship, the exalted and peculiar religious 
views of this ancient people — which to this day is a dis- 
tinguishing feature of the Germans — cannot be better 
described than in the words of Tacitus himself : 

" From the grandeur and majesty of celestial beings, 
they judged it altogether unsuitable to keep the gods 
vdthin walls or to represent t/iem under any Imman like- 
ness. They consecrated whole woods and groves and 
named them after their gods. In mental reverence and 
contemplation here they repaired to worship." 

In other words, to these barbarians, as opposed to every 
other religious people at that time in Europe, a deity was 
altogether too sacred and sublime a being to be fashioned 
into the likeness of a human form, representing as it 
does the frailties and passions, loves and hates of man. 
The Great Unknown was most fittingly worshiped in an 
edifice built by himself for his terrestrial children, the 
pillars of which were the primitive, majestic trees of the 
sacred groves and its roof the blue canopy of heaven. 

From the above description of the customs, habits, 
manners and laws of these early Germanic tribes, drawn 
principally from the writings of contemporaneous his- 
torians, it will naturally occur to the reader, that a people 
of such original and exceptional traits of character, must 
at no distant day carve out for itself a brilliant destiny, 
and eventually become a dominating power among the 
nations of the earth. 



AT THE period described in the foregoing chapter, 
jLjl. which may be-called Germany's infancy, Rome was 
nearing the zenith of her splendor and power. Her do- 
minion extended over nearly the whole of Eastern Europe, 
Asia Minor, Egypt and a broad strip of territory border- 
ing the Northern Coast of Africa. 

In the nearly seven centuries of her political existence 
Rome had passed through all the stages incident to the 
groAvth of a nation. She had struggled through the 
early stages of government from tribal association to a 
kingdom, and from a kingdom to a republic, and was 
nearing a still greater change. After the assassination 
of Julius Caesar, Rome was the greatest power that had 
ever existed, and yet, in the midst of her greatness, the 
germ of dissolution was already discernible. 

As her power rested upon force, and not upon the 
patriotic sentiment of a people enjoying equal rights, it 
ought to have been apparent to her statesmen that a 
republic, of which but a small fraction of its male inhab- 
itants were enjoying the privileges of citizenship — only 
463,000 in 70 b. c, according to the Roman census — lacked 
the very essence of political permanency, and that owing 
to the want of a deep sense of morality, love, and respect 
for family life, the social condition of Rome was keeping 
pace with its political degeneracy. 

The aristocracy, proud of their wealth and ancestry, 
were absprbed in the enjoyment of luxuries, and, by a 



long exercise of power, had come to look upon the high 
magistracies and seats of emolument as belonging' by 
right to their caste. 

As Cato, in a speech before the Koman Senate, tersely 
expressed it : "In the place of the virtues of our ancestors 
we have avarice and extravagance ; wo jn^aise the wealthy 
and honor idleness ; between the good and the bad there 
is no distinction, and all tlie rewards due to merit are 
bestowed upon the unworthy. Since every man with- 
draws himself from public interests, consulting only his 
own, should we be astonished at the state of our country's 
affairs? At home slaves to voluptuousness, in the Senate 
slaves to wealth and favoritism." 

Rome demanded and received her share of the gain of 
the known world. Her ships sailed the waters of every 
known sea, laden with trophies and spoils from every 

While riches flowed in rivers into the public coffers^ . 
immense fortunes were amassed by individuals, military 
commanders and state officers. Thousands of slaves were 
sold to work in the fields in chains by day, and to sleep in 
dungeons at n^ght, to prevent their escape. 

In the houses of the powerful and wealthy, learned 
Greek captives w^ere retained as school-masters, sophists, 
sculptors, pamters and poets. 

Splendor in dress and equipage, and extravagance in 
every form prevailed among the ruling classes. 

Private residences were erected at a fabulous expend- 
iture, with immense columns of black porphyry, floors 
in mosaic, the inner walls covered with paintings, and ceil- 
ings adorned with gilding and carving in ivory. 

Upon their villas imagination Avas taxed to lavish 


wealth. Gardens bloomed in tropical splendor, and \ ivks 
stocked with wild animals, which at sumptuous feasts were 
called from the wood by slaves, dressed as Orpheus play- 
ing the lyre. At their principal meal, reclining upon 
couches, seven courses, with wines, desserts and fruits, were 

The elevating ideas of the mythology of their fore- 
fathers had given place to sculptured marbles and taxing 
shrines. Belief in the dead pagan gods had perished and 
the Koman had no God at all to look up to. 

Steeped in pleasure, given up to a life of licentiousness^ 
Bome had become the sink into which every polluted 
stream flowed. 

Such is the superficially drawn picture of the political 
and social condition of Eonie at the time of her first en- 
counter with the primitive children of the Northern for- 
est — the Teutonic tribes. 

Kingsley has beautifully illustrated the five hundred 
years of contention between the cool, false, politic Roman, 
grown gray in the experience of the forum and the camp, 
and this fresh young barbarian of the German wilds. 

Fancy to yourself a Troll-garden — ^a fairy palace, with 
a fairy garden — and all around primeval forests. With- 
in the garden dwell the cunning and wicked Trolls, watch- 
ing their fairy treasures and making rare and strange 
things at their magic forges. Without, in the forest, are 
such children as the world had never seen before — children 
in frankness, purity, love, tenderness of conscience and 
devout awe of the unseen — children too in fanc}'^, ignorance, 
jealousy, quarrelsomeness and the desire for excitement 
and adventure — the mere sport of overflowing animal 
health. They play unharmed with the forest beasts ; but, 


finally, the forest becomes too dull and too poor for them, 
and they approach the Troll-garden and begin to wonder 
what is inside. It is easy to imagine what would happen. 
Some of the boldest clamber in ; some the Trolls steal and 
carry into the palace. Few escape, but enough to tell how 
tlie Trolls killed their companions, and of the marvelous 
things to be seen in the palace, — shoes of swiftness, swords 
of sharpness, and caps of darkness; of charmed harps, 
charmed jewels, and, above all, of the charmed wine ; and 
after all the Trolls were kind to them — see the fime clothes 
given them — and they strut proudly before their marvel- 
ing comrades. They return, but not alone. So the fame 
of the Troll-garden spreads ; and more and more hurry 
away and steal in. They become as the Trolls, vain, 
lustful and slavish. 

But their better nature flashes out at times. They will 
not be the slaves and brutes the Trolls would have them ; 
they rebel, escape, and tell of the wickedness of the foul 
palace. Great indignation arises, and war between the 
Trolls and the forest- children follows. Still the Trolls 
can tempt and bribe the greedier or the more vain ; and 
still the wonders inside haunt their minds, till it becomes 
a fixed idea among them all, to conquer the garden for 
themselves, to dress themselves in fine clothes and drink 
their fill of that maddening wine. 

Again and again they break in, but the Trolls drive 
them out, rebuild their walls, till the boys of the forest 
have become youths, and the youths men, and still the 
garden is not conquered. The Trolls have grown old and 
weak, and their walls are crumbling away. The forest 
warriors still menace and defy them. They may succeed 
this time or the next. 


And at last they do succeed ! The walls are breached, 
the fairy palace stormed, the Trolls conquered; old, 
jewels, robes and arms — all that the palace holds — will 
be theirs, except their cunning. 

As each struggles into the charmed garden the spell 
falls upon him. He drinks, fills his arms with precious 
trumpery, while another snatches it from him. Each 
envies his comrade before him, crying : "Why did I not 
enter first?" And the Trolls set one against the other, 
and split them into parties, and mad with jealousy and 
wine, till they scarce knew why, they fall upon each other 
and upon all others who are crowding in from the forest, 
and they fight up and down the palace halls, and the Trolls 
look on and laugh and still urge them on in this unnatural 
war, till the garden is trampled into dust, their finery de- 
stroyed, and the pavement slippery with kindred's blood. 
When the horrible dream is passed and the wine is out of 
them, the survivors stare shamefully and sadly around. 
What a desolate, tottering ruin the fairy palace has be- 
come ! Have they spoiled it themselves ? And what has 
become of the treasure ? No man knows. Nothing is 
left but recrimination and remorse. And they wander 
back into the forest, away from the doleful ruin, carrion- 
strewn, to sulk, each apart, over some petty spoil which he 
has saved from the general wreck, each hating and dread- 
ing the sound of his neighbor's footstep. 

This is neither more nor less than the story of the 
Teutonic tribes, and how they overthrew the Empire of 
Kome. Neither the picture of the dazzling splendor of the 
garden, the soft, beguiling character of its inmates, nor 
the susceptible, passion-enslaved period of its conquerors 
is overdrawn. 


Therefore, when Tacitus, at the beginning of the en- 
counters between his countrymen and this strong young 
race, saw that sooner or later the fate of Kome might rest 
in their hands, he sought by extolling their virtues, their 
phj'sical power, their unparalleled reproduction, to warn 
the Romans of their threatened danger, Avhich had be- 
come a brooding certainty in his own far-seeing mind. It 
came, after many years, about in this way : 

It must not be forgotten by the reader that the 
Eomans at this period were absorbed in the conquest of 
territory; that Rome might be fitly compared to an im- 
mense military camp, with its concomitants. To satisfy 
the needs of the garrison, and keep bright and burning the 
adventurous spirit of their legions, the generals were 
always in a quandary to know what country to rob and en- 
slave next. 

Besides the regular foraging armies under their imme- 
diate commands, the conquered provinces were placed un- 
der the charge of consuls or military oflScers, provided 
with a force large enough to insure a speedy collection of 
the tribute demand. 

After the decisive battle with the Roman general Ma- 
rius, before mentioned, the next important action against 
the Germanic tribes was 59 b. o., when Csesar was gov- 
ernor of Gaul. Some dispute having arisen between the 
Teutons, who, under the leadership of Ariovistus, had 
settled in large numbers upon territory west of the Rhine, 
and the tribes of Gaul, Caesar was called in to settle it. 

Before the battle which followed, at what is now 
known as the city of Besangon, in Lower Alsace, it is re- 
lated that the badgering German chief asked Csesar " if he 
knew what stuff his opponents were made of," adding 

coNFLicrr OF the komans and TEirroNs. 55 

" they were warriors who had not slept under a roof for 
four years." 

Notwithstanding the boasting of Ariovistus,the weather- 
erhardened barbarians were not a match for the mettle- 
some and war-begrimed Komans, an'd the result was a de- 
feat for the German tribes engaged, who were compelled 
to retire to the east bank of the Rhine. During the suc- 
ceeding years of Caesar's government of Gaul he crossed 
into German territory twice, but was unable to hold his 
ground or subject its people. 

Not until the appointment of Claudius Drusus, 13 b. c, 
as governor of Gaul were any noticeable advantages 
gained over the German tribes by the Romans. It is 
claimed that he made the way possible by digging a canal 
from the Rhine to the Yssel, through which he was en- 
abled to reach the North Sea with transports of troops. 

From this and the fact that 10 b. 0. other victories 
were won, it would seem that the first real lodgement 
made by the Romans upon German territory was under 
Drusus. The far-seeing general, discovering the capabih- 
ties of the young and valorous race, and already aware of 
their dream of avenging the slaughter of their forefathers 
by Marius, through his diplomatic and generous treatment 
of them, succeeded in persuading numbers of chiefs, and 
princelings with their retinues to enter the Roman military 

During the subsequent eighteen years of Roman occu- 
pation in Germany, more or less friendly relations existed 
between the conquered and their conquerors. 

Upon the adoption of Tiberius by the Emperor Au- 
gustus as his heir, he was sent into Germany, where he 
gained some small victories; but it was through the des- 


potic and meddlesome course of Quintilius Varus, who 
had been charged by the first Emperor to bring the Ger- 
man tribes under subjection, that Roman dominion was 
forever terminated in German3^ He began to annoy and 
irritate the people by dogmatically interfering with their 
primitive habits and customs, which they preferred to 
tliose of the Eomans. He compelled them to relinquish 
the time-honored usage of administering their laws and 
justice through their own elected or appointed officials. 
He demanded that all German litigants appear before 
Homan judges opposed by Boman counsel. 

This was a tyranny not to be borne by a proud people 
who had definite laws, founded upon the deep and broad 
principle of justice to all I 

Again, he exacted exorbitant tribute from the different 
German tribes. Eecalling all the former indignities suf- 
fered at the hands of the Eomans, the treatment captives 
taken in war had received, the pollution of their wives and 
daughters sold into slavery, they were at last aroused to 
swift, determined action. 

In response to this sentiment the noted chiefs assem- 
bled in secret and resolved on war. Arminius, a Che- 
ruscian prince, but twenty-five years old, who had learned 
the art of Avar in the Eoman army, but had remained 
loyal to his people and native land, placed himself at the 
head of the movement. 

To induce a large number of tribes, living independent 
of each other to join an enterprise so dangerous was not 
an easy task; Arminius, however, accomplished it with- 
out arousing the suspicion of Varus. 

When Varus was informed that a tribe in the interior 
had rebelled against Eoman authority,and had slaughtered 


many Boman soldiers, he marched against the insurgents 
with three of his most trusted legions, ordering his Ger- 
man auxilliary, Amiinius, to follow and assist him. 
Arminius promptly executed the first order — that was, 
to call out his command, but instead of assisting Varus, 
he lead his troops to the rendezvous of his German con- 

Incumbered with an immense train of wagons, pack- 
animals, camp-followers, women and children. Varus left 
his camp on the Weser at the end of October, 9 a. d. 
Marching his troops in a southwesterly direction, a few 
days after he reached the swampy, pathless region of the 
Teutoburger forest, in the vicinity of Detmold on the 
"Wirre — the point agreed upon by the German confeder- 
ates for a general onslaught. 

Before fully realizing their danger, and before they 
were able to form into compact lines, the Romans found 
themselves surrounded and assailed from all sides. The 
impetuosity of attack completed the confusion, and forced 
the Roman soldiers to an unequal hand-to-hand combat 
with an enemy, vastly their superiors in bodily strength 
and agility. 

The Romans fought with the fierceness of desperation, 
but after three days of terrible slaughter but few. were 
left to tell the story of their disaster. Varus, himself un- 
willing to survive the destruction of his legions, threw 
himself upon his sword and perished. 

This memorable battle, which forms a great episode 
in the national life of Germany, forever put an end to 
Roman dominion over the Teutons. The real merit of 
Arminius' success lay not so much in the strategy and valor 
he displayed in gaining the victory as in the wisdom and 

58 ooiTFUGrr of the bomans and teutons. 

sagacity with which he accomplished the unification of 
the various tribes in a contest for hearth and home. Had 
this great event served the Germans as an unforgotten les- 
son, they would have spared themselves many centuries 
of misery and degradation. 

The crushing defeat of Varus had a very demoralizing 
effect upon the Romans, Augustus, the Emperor, shutting 
himself up for seveiul days, and crying, " Varus, Varus, 
give me back my legions." Had Arminius chosen to 
follow up his victory by pushing across the Rhine and 
attacking the Roman province of Gaul, he could have ex- 
acted from Germany's enemy such terms as would have 
prevented the desecration of her soil ever after by Roman 

But, satisfied with the decisive result of the Teutoberger 
Wald, he ordered the tribes to return to their homes, to 
engage in the arts of peace. During the following five 
years the Romans made no further attempt to recover 
their lost ground, but confined their military operations 
to strengthening their position on the west side of the 

As with all victorious people, barbarians or otherwise, 
when the common enemy had disappeared the conquerors 
fell to quarreling among themselves. Such jealousies as 
the right of precedence in the councils, rivalries between 
the pnnces of the various tribes for seniority in command, 
and other disputes concerning the territorial limits of 
each tribe — in short, thousands of questions such as a 
newly correlating people would be called upon to settle — 
kept their fighting propensities from gathering rust and 
going to decay. 

With the exception of the Marcomanni^ which had fol- 


lowed Ariovistus into Gaul, but had been driven back by 
Julius Caesar, most of the strongest tribes acknowl- 
edged Arrainius as their leader. Marodobuus, the chief 
of the Marcoraanni, who had been educated in Kome with 
Arminius, but had not taken part in the Teutoberger 
Wald, Arminius suspected of coldness towards their com- 
mon country, with a corresponding warmth of feeling for 
their common enemy, the Romans. He looked with 
jealousy upon Marodobuus' efforts to extend the boundary 
line of the Maroomanni, and the increasing of his military 
force. Arminius even suspected him of nursing an am- 
bition to become " King of the Germans.'* 

These dissensions, with the fact that Segestes, the 
father-in-Liw of Arminius, had succeeded in creating a 
seditious feeling among the Cheruscians, Arminius' tribe, 
having reached Rome, about the time of Tiberius' suc- 
cession, 14 A. D., Tiberius resolved to seize this favorable 
opportunity to avenge the defeat of Varus. 

Accordingly, Germanicus, the son of Claudius Drusus, 
m command of the Roman army in Gaul, was ordered to 
cross the Rhine. His legions coming upon the tribe 
Marsi, while celebrating an evening festival, they were 
completely routed. The following spring, 15 a. d., he 
entered the territory of the Chauci and devastated their 
country. Segestes, from whom Arminius had stolen his 
daughter Thusnelda, and made her his wife, being at war 
with bis son-in-law, asked the Romans to come to his 
rescue. Germanicus, who had been appointed command- 
er-in-chief of all the legions in Gaul, hastened to the 
relief of Segestes, routed the besieging force of Arminius, 
and upon entering the delivered town of Segestesburg, 
took many women prisoners, among them Thusnelda, who 
was delivered to Germanicus from her father's own 

60 ooNFucrr of the eomans and teutons. 

hands. She was taken captive to Eome, where a son was 
born to her, whom she called Thumelicus. Two years 
after, the barbarian queen, leading her little son, graced 
the triumphal procession unwillingly granted Germanicus 
by his uncle, Tiberius, who had become jealous of Ger- 
manicus' renow^ned generalship in Germany. In order to 
further humiliate and distress Thusnelda, and degrade 
the son of the great Arminius, Thumelicus was placed 
in the school of the gladiators at Ravenna. This story of 
Thusnelda's wrongs has furnished an ever beautiful theme 
for German poet and artist from that day to this. 

In the year 16 a.d., Germanicus returned to Germany, 
determined to retrieve the loss he had sustained in being 
compelled by Arminius to retreat, after losing his cavalry 
and almost the four legions under Coecina. With an 
army of a hundred thousand men and a thousand vessels 
he reached the Weser. Between the present towns of 
Hameln and Rinteln, on the '^ Nymphemjoiese^^^ the two 
great warriors met, Arminius to be revenged for his 
wrongs, and Germanicus to make one more effoiii to sub- 
due this unconquerable race. At first the Germans were 
supposed to be beaten, but rallying, the next day, com- 
pelled the Romans to fly. This is claimed to be the 
greatest battle ever fought between the Romans and the 
Germans. It was the last time the Romans ventured to 
cross the Rhine. Arminius is, therefore, considered the 
greatest hero of ancient Germany; but, great and patri- 
otic and far-seeing as he was, he perished through the 
treachery of a relative, at the age of thirty-seven. 

It now became evident to the Roman Government, 
that though apparently friendly, these northern barbarians 
were endowed with immeasurable powers of physical and 
intellectual resistance. If united into one great brother- 


hood, a result they seemed to be slowly approaching, not- 
withstanding their internal wars, they would not only be 
able to maintain their independence, but would become 
dangerous neighbors to the Roman-Gallic provinces across 
the Khine. In coping with single tribes the Boman legions 
were always victorious, as in the subjugation of the Suev- 
ians, the Helvetians, the Marsi, the Cheruscians, and even 
the powerful tribe of Maroommani ; but with all the armed 
force which Rome could concentrate upon Germany's 
boundary, the Rhine, the German people, collectively, 
could not be brought under Roman subjection. 

A change of policy was therefore resolved upon, both 
in military tactics and in the civil treatment of the various 

The great natural defects of the German character — 
petty jealousy, quarrelsomeness and stubbornness in mat- 
ters of trifling import — were well known to the crafty 
Romans. To take advantage of these became the policy 
of Rome. Divide et itnpera was resolved upon. Thus, in 
heaping honors and favors upon one tribe, the enmity and 
jealousy of the neglected tribe was excited. 

Feuds, says Menzel, broke out between brother tribes in 
the interior, the defeated chiefs finding a welcome asylum 
in Rome. So fierce became this civil war that whole tribes 
were annihilated, nevermore to appear upon the page of his- 
tory. Such was the fate of the Cheruscians, the tribe which 
formed the nucleus of Arminius' union against Varus. 

In describing the onslaught of one neighboring tribe 
upon the other, in which sixty thousand of the vanquished 
were left upon the battle-field, Tacitus concludes with the 
following invocation: 

" May dissension ever reign among the Germans, and 
thus prevent the danger with which they threaten Rome." 

^ I 


But hatred of Roman rule among the Germans was not 
dead, however much they warred among themselves. 
About 70 A. D. there appeared at Batavia a young patriot 
who was afterwards called Civilis, because he was "a friend 
of the people." Suspected of loyalty to the Germans, he, 
in company with his brothers, was thrown into [)rison. 

They were beheaded, but Civilis was shown more favor, 
and afterwards released. Filled with revenge, and swear- 
ing not to trim his beard or cut liis hair until his fellow- 
countrj^men should cast oflf the Roman yoke, he sought the 
occasion of a midnight feast to excite them, by his elo- 
quence, to determined action. Hostilities soon after 
began. The Germans serving in the Roman army 
deserted in great numbers and joined their friends. The 
allies prospered, until Cerealis, the great Roman general, 
was sent into Gaul with a fresh army. Although the 
Gauls had joined Civilis they were easily reconquered, and 
in the battles which followed Civilis was forced to retreat 
to the Batavi an islands, where says, Menzel, "he opened 
the canals and caused a great inundation, by means of 
which he long bade defiance to the enemy. But, finding 
opposition unavailing, and honorable conditions being 
offered, he at length concluded a peace. His name was 
honored by both friends and enemies." 

It was at this time that Tacitus penned the following 

" For nearly two hundred and ten years have we been 
conquering Germany. In a period of time so lengthened 
many have been the blows and disasters suffered on both 
sides. In truth, neither from the Samnites, nor from the 
Carthaginians, nor from both Spains, nor from all the 
nations of Gaul, have we received more frequent checks and 
alarms : for more invincible is the liberty of the Germans 


than the monarchy of the Arsacides; for what has the power 
of the East to allege to our dishonor except the fall of 
Crassus? But by the Germans the Bomans have been 
bereft of five armies, all commanded by consuls; these 
commanders, Carbo and Cassius, Scaurus Aurelius and 
ServiliusCaspio, as well as Marcus Manlius, all were routed 
or taken by the Gennans, not to forget the Emperor 
Augustus, who was bereft of Varus and three legions. 
Not without great difficulty and loss of men wei'e the 
Germans defeated by Marius in Italy, or by the deified 
Julius in Gaul, or by Drusus or Tiberius, and soon after 
the mighty menaces of Caligula ended in mockery and 

During the twenty years following the peace of Civilis, 
Rome confined her operations to strengthening her posses- 
sions on the Upper and Lower Rhine. Her cities were 
ruled by governors who were appointed by the Roman 
Emperor and were only responsible to him personally. 

The great object of Trajan was to Romanize the prov- 
inces lying on the frontiers of Germany. " Fortifications 
along the left bank of the Rhine and the right bank of the 
Danube," says Menzel, " virtually surrounded the frontier 
of the Roman empire with a chain of bristling castles. 
Watch-towers overlooking the distant country were con- 
structed. The Rhine and Danube generally marked the 
boundary. Their banks were thickly studded with fortified 
towns, their streams made passable by bridges, and their 
roads constructed along the edge of the mountains, in 
order to secure a garrison against sudden attacks from the 
ambushed enemy." 

A militarv road was constructed from the Neckar to 
Regensburg, lined with permanent intrenchments, inter- 
spersed with hundreds of towers, built of heavy masonry, 


of which some of the ruins may be seen to this day. They 
are called by the people " Pagan Works," or the " Devil's 
Wall." Roman culture — that is, Roman extravagance 
and levity in morals — began to be introduced into the 
provinces. The Germans were seduced from their prim- 
itive ways, and their sons were persuaded to join the 
Roman legions. Theaters were built, palaces, amphithe- 
aters — everything to attract the barbarian from his deep, 
dark forest home and his simple life of independence. 

At tFie beginning of the second century a. d. the numer- 
ous tribes had been practically consolidated into four dis- 
tinct groups : the Franks, the Saxons, the Alemanni and 
the Goths. In this consolidation they lost, in a degree, 
their old tribal independence. The management of their 
public affairs fell into the hands of a principal chief, and 
by gradual degrees a king was evolved — a petty king, but 
a king, nevertheless. The Saxons alone preserved their 
tribal autonomy. 

This union naturally nursed the new feeling of nation- 
alism, and emboldened them to make united and frequent 
attacks upon the Roman provinces bordering their terri- 
tory. The Romans, however, began to have a wholesome 
fe^r of their restive enemies, and ventured no more across 
the Rhine nor in boats upon the North Sea. But to the 
southeast, along the Adriatic, where the Germans did not 
expect them and were not prepared, Marcus Aurelius 
(Antoninus) renewed hostilities in person about 168 a. d. 
He was met by the strong forces of the Marcomanni, 
Alani and Sarmatians, and was driven back to the frontier. 
For the next five years Antoninus remained at his post, 
giving and receiving battle, without once visiting Rome. 
It was during this period that the great battle renowned 
in history was fought upon the frozen Danube, the Romans 

cwNFUcrr op the Romans and teutons. 09 

driving their enemy far into Hungary. A later vic- 
tory in the same campaign the Bomans ascribed to Jupiter 
Tonans, because when the engagement was at its height a 
terrific thunderstorm overtook the armies and put to 
route the superstitious barbarians. 

At the beginning of the third century a movement 
against the Romans began in another part of Germany, 
near the borders of Switzerland. The Alemanni collected 
a large force and descended upon the territory known as 
the '' Black Forest," then tributary to Rome. They pil- 
laged and destroyed everything in their course. They 
were not successfully checked until met by the Emperor 
Maximin, a Goth, who had been raised to the imperial 
throne by the Roman army, large numbers of which w^ere 
Germans. In order to prove that he had renounced his 
country and kindred, and was a thorough Roman, he car- 
ried war and desolation into the very heart of his native 
land. His rapacity and cruelty finally brought down 
upon him the indignation of his troops, who assassinated 
him and his son at the siege of Aquileia.* 

From now on, the right bank of the river Rhine, 
with few interruptions, remained in the hands of the Ger- 
mans. About the same time the Franks broke into Gaul, 
the Romans being unable to oppose any effective resist- 
ance. In the same manner the Alemanni, roving over the 
country, now plunging into Gaul, now into Roman terri- 
tory about the Alps, encouraged the Goths to work over 
into Dacia (the Wallachia and Moldavia of to-day), defeat- 
ing the Roman army and killing the Emi)eror Dacius, 
after which the Goths permanently occupied the country. 
This took place in the year 251 a. d. 

The Roman Government, which since the fall of the 
Republic had been the costly bauble of a few ambitious 


families ready to commit any deed of darkness to clothe 
themselves in the " imperial purple," was still counte- 
nancing such customs, upholding such institutions and 
disregarding such appeals for justice as eventually bring 
decay upon aiiy nation. 

During the following fifty years the various German 
tribes, becoming more aggressive, of tener made substantial 
inroads upon Roman territory ; but no event of sufficient 
magnitude occurred to interest the American reader until 
about 325 a. d., when the Emperor Constantino conceived 
the idea of elevating to the dignity of a state religion 
the doctrine " to render unto Caesar what belonged to 
Csasar." These unruly barbarian subjects, as well as the 
meek and lowly, must hereafter be brought to submit to 
the strong and powerful, in return for which injustice and 
oppression here they were to be rewarded hereafter in 

A change in the religion of a people requiring time, in 
order to save the capital of the Roman Empire from the 
aggressive movements of the Goths on the Danube, the 
Persians in Asia Minor, and other tribes to the north, the 
seat of government was changed in 330 a. d. from Rome 
to Byzantium (Constantinople). From this epoch, it is 
claimed, Roman ascendancy began to cease. Constantine, 
surrounding himself with an arm}'- of 300,000 regulars, and 
reviving all the pomp and splendor of Oriental courts, 
actually believed he had saved his country and reestab- 
lished her upon the throne of the world's empire. But he 
had not reckoned upon the great migration of peoples 
which was soon to take place all over Europe. As Kings- 
ley describes this period between 400 and 500 a. d.: "It 
was like the working of an ant heap: like the insects 
devouring each other in a drop of water. Teuton tribes, 


Sclavonic tribes, Tartar tribes, Eoman generals, empresses, 
bishops, courtiers, adventurers, appear for a moment out 
of the crowd with a name appended, and then vanish, 
proving their humanity only by leaving behind them 
another stream of blood. But what became of the people, 
the men-slaves — the greater part of them if not all — who 
tilled the soil and ground the com — for man must have 
eaten then as now ? We have no hint. One trusts that 
God had mercy on them, for man had none." 

The first real impulse to this great human deluge was 
given by the Huns or Tartar tribes, who having been 
walled out of China and, unable to subsist without plun- 
der, were forced to move westward in search of other 
lands. They settled on the borders of the Caspian Sea. 
They are described as a raw-boned, broad-shouldered, flat- 
nosed, yellow-skinned people, mounted upon small, fleet 
horses, to which the Romans thought them grown, since 
they were known to live, fight and sleep on their steeds. 
They attacked their enemies with irresistible impetuosity 
and deafening yells ; appearing here, there and everywhere 
at the same time. Without fear of death, wild with 
impatience to possess the fair territory of the abundant 
Southwest, they crossed the Danube, the boundary line of 
the Roman fortifications, destroying everything in their 

Attila, their first great king, with a will as iron as his 
body, whom the Hunnish tribes clothed with supernatural 
powers, led them triumphantly on to deeds of plunder and 
death. Although permitting the representative chiefs to 
live in luxury, he himself practiced the discipline of a stoic 
in the rigorous and abstemious habits of his daily life. 
Dwelling in a large wooden house in a simple manner, at 
his public repasts, while his guests were served upon plates 


of gold and silver, he ate from wooden dishes and drank 
from wooden cups. Contrary to the customs of the Ori- 
ental semi-civilized tribes, he permitted his wife to appear 
in public unveiled. It is said he even patronized letters, 
by employing the services of a poet to accompany him on 
his invasions, to chant in verse his deeds of valor and 
prowess. He was supreme in power, serving as law-giver, 
judge, and often executioner. 

Towards individuals he was sometimes generous; 
towards humanity he was incapable of pity, and, there- 
fore, was named the " Scourge of God." 

Through the incursions of the Huns across the lower 
Danube, the tribes throughout the eastern and middle 
portions of . Europe were set in motion. As one wave fol- 
lows another upon the tempestuous ocean, so the fleeing 
peoples swept onward to escape the destroying hordes of 
Attila. Once in motion the objective point of all the 
European tribes appears to have been the fabled country 
" whose cities were paved with gold, where they might 
bathe, eat, and see twenty thousand gladiators fight, all at 
the public's expense." 

The Goths, of all the Teutonic tribes in activity at this 
time, seem to have been the most endowed with heroic 
attributes. They are represented as " a tall, fair-haired 
people, clothed in shirts and smocks of linen, w^ith gaiters 
strapped to the feet with bands of hide; their arms and 
necks encircled with gold and silver rings ; the warriors 
of the upper class well horsed, and armed with lance and 
heavy sword, with chain-mail and helmet, well plumed. 
Their land was tilled by slaves, usually captives taken in 

The Ostrogoth's (East-goths) country stretched from 
the Volga to the Bory sthenes ; the Visigoth's (West-goths) 





from Borysthenes to the Theiss. Kingsley says, " From 
the great German-Gothic people, now much intermixed, 
have sprung all the old royal families of Europe." 

As early as 245 a. d. the Goths had tasted the fruits 
of victory, having penetrated as far as Athens, in Greece, 
and upon their return to the steppes and snows of Eussia 
could not forget the beauty and wines of the sunny South. 

The story of the first attack of the Huns upon the 
Goths, history gives as follows : About 350 a. d. Erman- 
aric. King of the Goths, after he had conquered all the 
surrounding tribes, and was a hundred years old, the chief 
of the Eoxolani, one of the subjected tribes, plotted against 
him and sent for the Huns, far to the East, on the confines 
of Europe and Asia, to come and help him. Old Ermana- 
ric tore the traitor's wife in pieces with wild horses ; but 
the Huns came and the Goths were defeated, when old 
Ermanaric stabbed himself and died for shame. 

Twenty-five years after, the Goths, unable to stand the 
repeated plundering expeditions of the Huns, begged the 
Eomans to allow them to cross the Danube, " since some 
among them had embraced Christianity." The Emperor 
Valens gave them permission to come provided they would 
embrace Arianism, a religion so little and reasonably 
removed from paganism that it could be accepted with 
consistency by the Goths. 

In coming over they were to give up their arms, and 
deliver their children (those of rank) as hostages, to be 
educated as Romans. Says Kingsley further : " They were 
whole days crossing the Danube, and those set to count 
them gave up in despair. When they had crossed, they 
delivered up their children, but kept their weapons, 
although at the price of many a Gothic woman's honor." 
They had to be fed until they could cultivate their land, 


and the two governors of Thrace, who were to provide 
food, pocketed thQ money and starved the Goths. A little 
meat cost ten pounds of silver, and when aU was gone 
they were forced to sell their children for the Roman slave 
market. At last the end came, and the Romans paid 
dearly for the wickedness of Valens. Alaric, the king of 
the Goths, a great general, after nearing many times and 
retreating, and nearing again the great city, which he 
believed he had been born to take, at the head of all the 
united Gothic tribes marched into Italy ; encamping before 
the w«alls of Rome, his army waited " as wolves wait 
round the dying buffalo." 

The Romans, though starving within, boasted of their 
great resources and numbers, when Alaric cried out incred- 
ulously : " Come out, then ; the thicker the hay the easier 
mowed." They, however, were afraid to come out, and 
so finally sued for peace. Alaric consented to withdraw 
on the payment " of 5,000 pounds of gold, 30,000 pounds of 
silver, and a like quantity of costly articles of commerce, 
which at that period flowed into Rome from every quarter 
of the known world." To meet this demand they w^ere 
compelled to melt the golden statue of victory, in Avhich 
fatality the Romans foresaw the ruin of their city. 

Alaric, although promising a respite to the Romans for 
a time, soon found a pretext for renewing his operations. 
In order to make sure of an entrance into Rome he is said 
to have sent three liundred German slaves to wealthy 
families as presents, who, upon A laric's approach with his 
army, opened the gates at night, by which the fabled 
city fell into the hands of the Gothic king on the 24th of 
August, A. D. 409. 

Says the historian Menzel : " For the first time since 
the invasion of Brennus, 390 b. c, the capital of the world 

ooNFUcrr of the Romans and teutons. 77 

beheld the enemy which had so often been led in triumph 
through her streets in chains, thrown to the wild beasts in 
her amphitheater, or doomed to cruel slaverj'-, now appear 
as a bloody and inflexible conqueror, armed with the sword 
of vengeance, repaying all the crimes committed against 
the liberties of nations in general, and against the Teutonic 
tribes in particular." Soon after this victory the great 
Alaric died, at the age of fifty-four. To provide a secret 
sepulcher, the river Baseno was diverted from its course, 
and the monarch was buried with immense treasure in its 
bed, after which the stream was again turned into its 
natural channel. About this time the Franks and Vandals 
had conquered Gaul, and partially subdued Spain. The 
Vandals soon penetrated as far as Sicily, and later the 
Suives took Spain wholly. Two other of the Teutonic 
tribes, the Saxons and Angles, had gone over to the assist- 
ance of the Britons, who had been attacked by the Celtic- 
Picts and Scots. After driving the enemy back into the 
mountains, these Angles and Saxons remained in the coun- 
try, not having taken part in the conquest of Rome, and 
consequently were the ancestors of the English of to-day. 

In point of sterling qualities the Angles did not com- 
pare with the Goths and other Teutonic tribes of the 
south of Europe. 

It would have been natural to suppose, that, in becom- 
ing politically united with other races, and by compulsion 
forced to adopt other customs and manners, the Gennans 
of central Europe would have lost many of their natioucal 
peculiarities, modes of thought, and, as a people, have 
undergone a radical change in characteristics. But such 
was not the case. They strictly maintained the spirit of 
their laws, discouraged the marriage of Germans Avith 
Romans, and the adoption of their unfamily customs of life. 


The next great movement against Kome after Alario's 
death was undertaken by Attila, the king of the Hans. 
Kingsley describes the battle briefly as follows: Val- 
entinian, emperor of the Eoman empire, had confined his 
sister Honoria in a convent for some profligacy. Sending 
her ring to Attila, he decided to become her champion. 
Starting for Eome, he decided to try Gaul first; into 
Gaul he poured with all his Tartar hordes, and the Teuton 
tribes he had gathered in his progress, as an avalanche 
gathers snow in its course from the mountain's side. 

Under Attila were Huns, Sclavs, Tartars, Finns, some 
Teutonic tribes, Turks, East-Goths, and Lombards. 
Against him were the Eomans, West -Goths, Franks, 
Burgunds and the Bretons of Amorica. 

Attila's force was 500,000 strong. Destroying the 
Eoman fortifications on the south bank of the Danube, he 
swept across the territory now known as Austria, Bavaria 
and Franconia. A protracted seige against the Eomans 
followed at Orleans, which was raised by the approach of 
the Soman allies under command of Theodorick, the 
Goth, the Eoman forces being commanded by the famous 
general Aetius. In this great contest which was to fol- 
low, Germans were set against Germans, and Germans ^ 
were consequently the greatest sufferers. 

The battle was fought on the plains of the Mame, 
near Chalons. It was the most sanguinary conflict yet 
recorded in history, and is called in German Hunnenr 
schlacht It lasted only from sun to sun, but so great 
was the deadly determination to annihilate each other 
that 200,000 men were left upon the battle-field as the 
result of the day's contest. Attila's army was beaten, and 
the Eoman allies were too weak to prevent the retreat of 
the renmant of his army back to Hungary. Says an old 


historian of this battle : " Antiquity tells of nothing like 
it. A fight gigantio^ supernatural in vastness and horror." 

n 452 A.D. Attila advanced again upon Bome, but 
upon the entreaties of the Bishop Leo I. he was induced to 
withdraw. Attila was assassinated 454 a.d. on his way 
out of Italy, it is said, by the hand of a beautiful Bergun- 
dian girl, Ildico (Hildagunde). His body was enclosed in 
three coffins, gold, silver and lead, and, surrounded by his 
whole army on horseback, the funeral ceremonies were 
conducted. To render impossible the discovery of his 
grave, the men who prepared it were put to death. 

Germany was now in a most deplorable state. Her 
cities, villages, her public edifices, constructed by the 
Eomans and themselves, were laid in ashes. Whatever 
had been reared by human hands was swept oflP the face 
of the earth by the plundering tribes. Soon after these 
destructive events had taken place the German general 
Odoachar, the son of a high ofBcial of Attila's cour£, who 
had risen to distinction in the "Western Empire, was 
placed in command of the German auxiliary army of the 

Conscious of his strength, his mind filled with plans 
not unlike those formed by Alaric, he suddenly demanded 
a division of the Roman territory between the Roman 
general Orestes, who was to have one-third, the young 
emperor Romulus Augustus a third, and himself a third. 
Upon being refused he turned the German troops against 
them, killing Orestes and taking the Emperor prisoner. 
This victory gave Odoachar the opportunity to proclaim 
himself " King of the German peoples of Italy," which he 
did in 476 a. d. Thus it came to pass, after twelve hun- 
dred and twenty-nine years of her existenpe, Rome fell 
at the hands of the Germans; but, as the historian 

80 ooNFLicrr of the bomans and teutons, 

Scherrer honestly says, "Not so much through theu* 
designs and power, as because fate so willed it." Rome 
was no longer able to stand against the united attacks 
of the Forest Children, and the Troll garden was 
entered at last. "And the fairy treasure — what had 
become of that i! No man knew. Nothing was left, and 
back they go and quarrel apart over some petty spoil 
which had been saved from the general wreck." 

Thus, for five hundred years from the day when 
Amiinius coaxed Varus into the morasses of the Teuto- 
berger forest, was the history of the German peoples 
inextricably interwoven with that of the Eomans. What 
would have been further accomplished by Odoacher, had 
he lived, it is hard to surmise. During his short lease of 
power he established order throughout the Empire, dis- 
tributed the Germans among the Romans, gave them a 
third of the landed property, and allowed them to retain 
their customs and laws. 

Says Menzel : " After the fall of Eome, the Latin 
tongue and the refinements of the south greatly influ- 
enced its conquerors, and drew a broader line of distinction 
between them and the Germans still back in the wild and 
trackless forests; Christianity also caused a still wider 
separation between the converted and pagan tribes. 
These circumstances, combined with the hereditary feuds 
and restless war-loving character of the Germans, Avere 
turned to advantage by their kings, who, influenced either 
by zeal for religion, or by ambitious motives, carried on 
the struggle, now terminated with Borne, amongst them 





FROM the death of Odoacher, in 493, it is not pertinent 
to the story of the true German tril)es to follow 
to its collapse the powerful Ostrogothic empire in 560 
A.D., nor to trace the struggles of the Visigoths to 
their final extinction. Suffice it to say that King Theo- 
dorick (Deitrich) left his impress upon the pages of history 
as the Goth " who first attempted to found a- civilized and 
ordered state upon experience drawn from Iloman 

The most active of the Teuton tribes at this time, 
were the Thuringians, Suevi, Saxons, Bavarians and 
Alemanni. The territory occupied by them was bounded 
on the east by the rivers Elbe and Saale, on the west by 
Gaul, on the south by the Alps. The Franks, originally 
Oerman^ being formed of the Alemanni and Catti tribes, 
settled on the left bank of the Ehine, and in time took 
possession of the whole of GauL The Prankish nation 
was founded by Clovis, in 481 a.d. He changed its 
ancient name of Gaul to that of France. He married the 
famous Clotilda, whose whole family, with the exception 
of a sister, had been murdered by her uncle Gundebald of 
Burgundy. The legend of their marriage is a very pretty 
romance to read, and has the merit of being true. Clovis 
was converted to Christianity by the result of a battle. 
During its progress, seeing that defeat was possible, he 



swore in case he was victorious to forsake Wodin, the 
God of his fathers, and embrace the religion of his Chris- 
tian wife, Clotilda, should he be victorious. The battle 
being won, faithful to his promise he was baptized at 
Kheims about 496 a. d. The Catholic bishops of all Gaul 
now assisted him in strengthening his power. He made 
acessions to his territory, which extended from the Khine 
to the Pyrenees. Clovis is said to have laid the ground- 
work for a complete revolution in the internal policy of 
Germany and France. He was the first and greatest king 
of the Merovingian dynasty. The Gauls having been 
early conquered by the Romans had earlier adopted the 
manners, customs, and language of the Bomans. When 
subdued by the Franks, the historians say, "the Frankish 
people were superior to the other German tribes. They 
were ingenious, brave and enterprising. Trained to war, 
accustomed to victory, fired by ambition, and favored by 
their position, they acquired and maintained a power 
against which none of the other states were able to make 
perceptible inroads." 

Clovis' sons were each given a fourth of his kingdom 
at his death, which occurred a. d. 511. The Ehine coun- 
try, Austrasia, fell to the eldest, while Neustria was given 
to his second son. The real German tribes were the 
Australians, while the Neustrias were the more Roman- 
ized Franks, or, as some historian calls them, " the weak 
and licentious Franks." 

The Merovingian kings were of this last type, mere 
phantoms of royalty, who although wearing crowns were 
governed by mayors of the palace, or high chancellors, 
provided by the Austrasians, or Germans. These mayors 
assumed the title of duke, and in time gained absolute pos- 
session of the Frankish kingdom. 


Pepin, a mayor of Dogobert's palace, was the first of 
the dynasty to succeed the lazy Merovingian kings. 
Although allowing them still to reign, he governed the 
country. After Pepin I. came Charles Martel. He was 
the natural son of Pepin I. Under Martel the old feud 
between the Germans and French was renewed, the 
former upholding Martel and the latter the legal kings. 

Martel, taking the matter into his own hands, settled 
the difficulty by seizing the reins of government and 
making himself sole ruler. To him is ascribed the glory 
of having delivered France from the pagans of the East, 
from the Mussulmen of the South, and saved Christendom 
once and forever f I'ora the dominion of the Turk. The 
celebrated battle of Poitiers, a.d. 732, was a turning 
point, or an epoch, in the history of Europe which has 
served as the text for many a congratulatory sermon by 
both Catholic and Protestant divines. 

It was at this battle, in which he killed numbers of 
the enemy by striking them upon the head, that he gained 
the name Martel (a hammer). He died in Y14 a. d., and 
was succeeded by his son, Pepin "the Short." Pepin 
extended his domain into Italy, the Lombards becoming 
tributary to France, and through his generosity to the 
ecclesiastical power at Kome he was aided in maintaining 
his supremacy. He was a sagacious ruler, using his 
authority to strengthen the Austrasian influence. 

About this time the Anglo Saxons of the far-off isles 
to the North had become celebrated throughout Christen- 
dom as a very religious people. Their professions and 
life were more in accordance with the teachings of the 
early apostles than was that of the Franks. Their doc- 
trines were simpler; consequently their monks were in 
great demand as evangelizers in Germany and France. 


The Prankish Church, which had not been able to make 
much headway among the pagan Germans to the north- 
eart — these several tribes judging more by the practices 
of a people than by their professions — in looking about 
for an energetic missionary Qxed upon a famous religious 
enthusiast, called Winfried the Monk. He was asked by 
the Church of the French to go over into heathen Ger- 
many, and tell them all about the new religion. Winfried, 
who was an ideal missionary, consented, and entered upon 
his task with energy and zeal. The way in which he 
carried on his conversions was bold and somewhat hazard- 
ous. It is related that in his wanderings through the 
pathless forests and waste plains he came upon a multi- 
tude of Germans, who had surrounded an immense oak, 
sacred to Wodin, and were engaged in worship. Seizing 
an axe, with many loud strokes and loud exhortations 
Winfried leveled the tree to the ground. The awe struck 
heathen, expecting the monk to be instantly punished for 
this sacrilegious act through some supernatural power, 
which not being done, they began to lose faith in the 
infallibility of their deities, and to listen to the mission- 
ary's story. Winfried obtained great power over several 
tribes, but with the Saxons he made no headway. 

Pepin having concluded his alliance with the Pope in 
755 a. d., Winfried became the King's most strenuous sup- 
porter. Hie purpose of life was " the unity of the king- 
dom of God on earth ; the fraternization of all mankind, 
gathered under the care of one shepherd, the Pope, 
Christ's vicar upon earth, and the substitution of the Latin 
language as the only authorized language of the Church." 
lie saw the needs of the people also in a material point of 
view. Seeking fertile ground in the heart of the dense 
forests, he gained permission to establish industrial col- 


onies, called monasteries. Soon the earth began to blossom 
and produce fruits for the needs of man. His communities 
were started upon the theorj'- that the chief aim of man 
ought to be the worship of God and solicitude for the 
welfare of man. These brotherhoods not only became 
the Christianizers, but the ci vilizei-s of tiie age. The mon- 
astery established by Winfried at "The Glade of Oaks," 
afterwards called Fulda, was given four miles in extent 
upon which to build a church, a seat of learning and mon- 
astery. Here Winfried, the Anglo-Saxon monk and 
missionary, Avas buried. Since canonized he is called St. 
Boniface, and is considered the father of the German 
Catholic Church. 

The most renowned king of the Carlo vingian dynasty, 
which now had settled its supremacy over the Merovin- 
gians, was Charlemagne, born at Aix la-Chapelle a. d. 
742. He was the son of Pepin " the Short." Legends exist 
giving the most w^onderful evidence of his strength of 
mind and body when a mere child. He measured seven 
of his own feet, says history; his feet doubtless being full 
twelve inches. "His head was round, his eyes large, and 
his nose somewhat exceeded moderate proportions. His 
gray hair was beautiful to behold." His crown, which is 
preserved in Vienna, is of gigantic size. Foreign clothes 
he would never wear, except at Rome and at the Pope's 
request. His habits are thus described in history: Never 
' indulging in excesses or luxury, and maintaining his 
strength by daily exercise, he was the ideal of a power- 
ful ruler. He ascended the throne at the age of twenty- 
six. Upon his brother's death he united the whole of 
Gaul and Western Germany ; "urged on by an uncontrol- 
lable ambition, he burst through every barrier that opjwsed 
his entrance into the great and brilliant course he was 


destined to run. His fame, like the sun at early morn, 
obscured by rolling clouds, shone forth, again and again, 
with undimmed luster. Ilis energetic and creative in- 
tellect, ever actively and simultaneously employed in con- 
ducting his wars abroad, and in improving the internal 
condition of his empire, changed the aspect of affairs, 
not only throughout Germany but throughout the whole 
of Europe, to a new and important era. With him, the 
history of ancient Germany closes. All the ancient free 
German states and kingdoms were united within the lim- 
its of his immense empire. Antiquity sank into oblivion 
and Ae middle age commenced with his grand and bril- 
liant reign." 
. After his great wars, to wit : the destruction of Lom- 
bardy, the conquest of the Saxons (the most stubborn 
and relentless of the pagan Germans), his wars in Spain, 
with the Slavi, the Avari of Hungary and Austria, and 
the Norsemen of Scandinavia, his empire extended from 
the Ebro in Spain to the Baab in Hungary ; from Bene- 
vento on the south to the Eyder on the north. All of the 
German tribes in the north of Europe, except the Anglo- 
Saxons and Scandinavians, were for the first time united 
under one sovereign. All the Western Romans, w^ith 
portions of the country east of the Elbe and Saal, inhab- 
ited by the Slavi and the Avari of Hungary, were within 
his domain. 

The act which has come down through the long pages 
of history, and which has fixed the character of the man 
most firmly in men's minds, is termed, " Charlemagne's 
mass conversions of the Saxons," a task which he was 
thirty-two years in accomplishing. Keligion was offered 
to these pagans at the point of the sword. It was, " be- 
lieve or die," and they believed: a practice which was 

Die 5<trlad;t bei Dofflngen. 



continued several centuries after Charlemagne's death by 
one power or the other ruling in Germany. 

Under Charlemagne's masterful sway the Catholic 
Church, or, as it was then called, the Christian Church, was 
placed upon a firm spiritual and material foundation. He 
established many powerful bishoprics in the interior of 
Germany, which came to be arms in the hands of the 
pontifical power at Rome, to keep in check the ambition of 
Germany's emperors. 

While he lived, however, his word was law. Pope and 
clergy bent submissively before him. He was, although 
a man of martial spirit, the patron of learning, the ancient 
legends and ballads of the various tribes being collected 
and written under his direction. He founded academies 
and furnished to the people masters for learning writing, 
arithmetic and singing. 

Under his reign the first German grammar was written. 
Besides encouraging agriculture, he granted special privi- 
leges to merchants. He protected the Jews against pil- 
lage by severe laws; built roads. for the transportation of 
merchandise, and in many ways encom'aged trade. Previ- 
ous to his death he crowned his son as associate emperor. 
By his father's direction, Louis took the crown from the 
" Lord's Table," and placed it upon his own head, to signify 
that it was through divine rather than through human 
interposition that he was allowed to wear a crown. Thus 
was monarchy "by the grace of God established in the 
year a. d. 818." Charlemagne died in 814, and was buried 
at Aix-la-Chapelle, where, upon his tomb being opened by 
Otto IIL, the great Charlemagne was found sitting upright 
upon a throne, attired in his imperial robes. 

Louis the Pious was unable to keep intact the immense 
territory bequeathed him by his father — an empire which 


consisted of many peoples united by conquest. By the 
treaty of Verdun, 843 a. d., the Empire was divided 
between Louis' three sons. Lothair was given Italy, 
Charles the Bold France, and Louis that portion of the 
Empire east of the Rhine, west of the Bohemian forest, 
and north of the Danube, and called Germany. 

Owing to the weak rule of Louis and his sons, the 
nobles, who formerly were mere officers of the King, be^an 
to rise in power. They had gone so far as to ask that 
their titles become hereditary. Charles the Bold of 
France, just before his death, granted their request, at the 
same time extending the right of inheritance to all the 
fiefs. Thus was firmly established the feudal system in 
Europe in 877 a. d. It was only a revival of an ancient 
system of the German tribes, — the use of property, lent, 
u|x>n stipulated conditions, to emancipated slaves, poor 
freemen and armed followers. The rich conquered prov- 
inces having been given by the kings to their most brave 
and noble adherents, they were called counts (grafs). This 
property served for the support of the large retinues swear- 
ing allegiance to its owner, the owner in turn swearing 
allegiance to his king. These dukes and grafs, or counts, 
ere long possessed all the honor, all the influence and all 
the wealth of the country. "With their followers they 
elected the kings, and often the kings were forced to pur 
chase the loyalty of their nobles. 

About this time, that is, after the division between 
Louis' sons, France became autonomous. A new language 
begun to be spoken, formed of the German and Latin, and 
her own princes aspired to the sole rule of the French 

After the death of Louis the Child, the last of the five 
German Carlovingian kings, Conrad the Franconian sue- 


ceeded in gaining the crown of Germany in opposition to 
the Saxon duke, Henry. At Conrad's death, after reign- 
ing five years, and at his request, Henry I. was elected 
king, A. D. 919. He must be considered as the founder of 
the independent German nation. Making war upon the 
duchies of Swabia, Bavaria and Lorraine, ho established 
imperial authority over these dignitaries. His object was 
to lessen their power and increase that of the cities. The 
municipal privileges he granted were the foundation, of 
the German corporations which became so powerful in the 
twelfth century. The boundary line of Germany proper 
Henry placed as far east as Prague, and as far north as 
the Danish provinces. 

The Saxon dynasty was not continued after the death 
of Henry I., but, as the dukes and princes still elected their 
king, a great gathering of the people, says the historian, 
had hastened f I'om every quarter and encamped on both 
sides of the Ehine, between Worms and Mayence, to take 
part in the elevation of an emperor to rule over them. 
Dukes appeared in person, followed by processions led by 
margraves and counts, with banners flying and horses 
neighing. With equal state come the archbishops, bishops 
and abbots, with their pious but haughty retinues. The 
broad plain scarcely sufficed to hold the number of noble- 
born Germans, met to elect the successor of their dead 
King, who on his death-bed had recommended Count 
Conrad, but whose claim was opposed by his older cousin, 
Duke Conrad. 

The election of one of tliese men was unanimously 
resolved upon, both of the competitors agreeing for the 
sake of the state to yield submissively to the will of the 
majority. The electors met and the first vote cast was 
for Conrad the Elder. All the bishops added their suf« 


frages, and he was declared elected Emperor with one joy- 
ous acclaim. His cousin was the first to congratulate 
him upon his accession. Conrad II. proved to be one of 
the noblest sovereigns that ever swayed the scepter of 

It is claimed that he was no slave to the Church, that 
when the Pope, without consulting him, raised theabbotof 
Reichenau to the Episcopal dynasty, Conrad prohibited 
its acceptance and caused the promotion document to be 
destroyed. Conrad II. died in 1030. His son Henry HI. 
accompanied the funeral procession to Spires, and while 
passing through the town assisted in bearing the coffin 
upon his own shoulders. Henry's reign was noted for 
the continuance of a disposition inaugurated by Henry I., 
and continued by his father Conrad II., to keep back the 
clergy from meddling too much in state affairs. The 
Bohemians were the first to commence open warfare 
against Henry. They were supported in their rebellion 
by the Bishop of Prague, Severus. The war lasted two 
vears, but the Emperor succeeded finally in defeating the 
Bohemians and their bishop. 

Under the rule of Henry III. Hunagry was divided into 
counties, or comitate — its divisions of to-day. Vienna and 
the surrounding country were severed from Hungary and 
united to Austria. 

At this time, about 1046 a. d., there was great uneasi- 
ness in the Church on account of the claims of three Popes 
to the pontifical seat : Benedict IX., who ruled from the 
Lateran, Gregory VI. from the Vatican, and Sylvester 
VIL frim Sl Maria Maggiore, all at Eome. Henry 
determined to put an end to this state of things, and, 
going to Bome, held a great ecclesiastical convocation at 
SutrL Summarily deposing the three quarreling Popes 



he placed a German Pope, Clement 11., in power, the three 
deposed popes returning with him to Germany. Clem- 
ent was poisoned in a short time, and Damasus II., his 
German successor, did not live three weeks after his eleva- 
tion. The Emperor then appointed a member of his own 
family, Leo IX., to the pontifical chair. He first at- 
tempted to aboUsh the sin of "simony" — the purchase 
of ecclesiastical benefices. He issued edicts rendering 
those engaged in such practices liable to the severest pun- 
ishments. He met, however, with the most opposition 
from the German clergy themselves, and was forced to 
fly to the Normans, who fell at his feet in adoration of 
his noble qualities. Dying the next year, 1054 a. d., Geb- 
hard, called Victor II., was appointed pontiff, who promised 
the world to continue the reforms begun by Leo. IX. 

Henry III. died in the Hartz mountains in 1056, in the 
prime of life. He maintained his royal authority with- 
out diminution against the attacks of the aristocracy and 
hierarchy, which was much to say of a king at that time, 
surrounded by opposing fiefs, dukedoms and warring 
nations. He left the Empire in the hands of the Empress 
Agnes, his son Henry IV. being but five years old at his 

The story of the poor young prince, as told by Menzel, 
presents a picture verifying the maxim : " Uneasy rests the 
head that wears a crown." 

The Empress, although a virtuous, highly cultivated 
woman, was totally deficient in that energy required to 
rule the wild and daring spirits of the age. Unable to 
bear despotic sway over the extensive and distant provinces 
bequeathed to her, as her husband had done, she sought 
aid through intermediating dukes. 

About this time, Anno, Archbishop of Cologne, an 


ambitious, stern-temi)ered man, more fitted to bear the 
scepter than the crosier, and who despised Agnes, was 
determined to seize the regency for himself. Several 
conspiracies were formed to take the life of the young 
Emperor. These failing, a plan was formed to gain pos- 
session of his person. The Empress and her son were 
invited to pass Easter at Kaiserswerth, 1062 a. d. After 
the banquet, under the pretense of showing the Prince a 
boat, he was taken to the Khine, put on board a vessel, 
and taken away. The courageous boy perceiving it was 
the intention to separate him from his mother, leaped 
into the water, but was followed, caught, and borne 
back to the vessel. Although pursued on both sides of 
the river by the country people, and by the cries of the 
Empress for the return of her child, he was carried to 
Cologne as a prisoner. The heart-broken mother then 
resigned the regency and retired to a convent. 

Anno, the archbishop who had planned his capture, 
caused a- decree to be passed by the assembled vassals of 
the Empire, to empower the archbishop within whose 
diocese the young Emperor resided, to act as regent of the 

Anno caused the boy to be thoroughly educated, com- 
pelling him to learn Latin like a chorister, and undergo 
the severest discipline. 

The Popes were now to be elected independent of the 
Emperor ; or solely dependent upon the votes of the car- 
dinals, or highest ecclesiastics. Like the Emperor, he was 
declared ruler over the feudatories in his dominions. 
Many of the dukes wishing to free themselves from the 
rule of the Empire at this time, came under the Pope's 

Alexander n. being elected Pope by the cardinals, 


Agnes when in power had caused the election of Honorius 
II. by the German bishops, A dispute having arisen 
between the two pontiffs, Anno, the regent, was called to 
Home to settle it. He upheld the Pope elected by the car- 
dinals, and Alexander II. remained in power. While 
Anno was absent the young Emperor had fallen into the 
hands of Adalbert, Archbishop of Bremen. He was the 
most learned and polished man of the age. By the gentle- 
ness of his treatment of the young Emperor, so suddenly 
changed from the severity of the former archbishop. Anno, 
the effect was soon found to be most pernicious upon 
Henry. The Saxons were ever at war with the archbishops, 
and Henry was taught to disHke them, as well as the 
sturdy German people. This antipathy followed him, and 
when he became Emperor caused him great uneasiness and 

These bishops, archbishops and abbots were constantly 
quarreling to see who should gain the most power, tem- 
poral as well as spiritual! It is said the young Emperor 
witnessed a struggle between the Bishop of Hildsheim and 
the Abbot of Fulda for precedence in the church of Gos- 
lar, in which several men lost their lives. He heard, there- 
fore, little but the ambitious discussions of the aspiring 
ecclesiastics in his youth. 

When scarcely old enough to bear arms, he began to 
oppress the Saxons, who rose up against him, and soon sur- 
rounding him in his castle, he was only saved from death 
by escaping under the cover of night to Worms. Here the 
German dukes offered to assist him, but, afraid of their 
power, he appeared in the assembly of Upper Germany 
and pleaded for aid. When it was rendered the troops 
refused to attack the Saxons, and he was compelled to 
accede to their demands. The Saxons now razed every 


fortress to the ground, and dragged the dead body of the 
Emperor's brother and his own son from the grave. This 
barbarous act brought every duke and prince of the Empire 
to join in an expedition for revenge. Henry soon found 
himself at the head of an immense army. Inspired by 
revenge, he attacked the Saxons; a bloody battle being 
fought at Langensalza. The peasantry were hewn down 
by thousands. Three years after the Saxons submitted 
to Henry, and the dukedom was presided over by Otto 
of Nordheim. 

Pope Alexander II. dying, the son of a blacksmith, 
named Hildebrand, and who had been taken bv Leo XIX. 
into his service, aspired to the empty chair at Rome. He 
was a man of great talent, and at the time of Henry's 
mother's (Agnes) regency, made extraordinary headway 
with his great purpose of universal ecclesiastical rule. 
Says Menzel : " So intense was the devotional feeling of the 
times that the Church merely required an energetic head, 
and the Empire a weak ruler, for the temporal power of 
the latter to pass into the hands of the former." 

Hildebrand had been the moving spirit in having the 
Popes elected by cardinals without the aid of the Emperor. 
Being now chosen to Alexander's seat, under the name of 
Gregory VII., his first step was to decree the celibacy of 
aU the clergy - the bishops and priests having families up 
to this date, the monks alone being compelled to renounce 
family life upon entering the monasteries. " Celibacy would 
control the ambition of the clergy by dissolving every tie 
between them and family, country and kindred, rendering 
them solely the servants of the Church. The German clergy 
opposed this measure with great earnestness, but 
they were finally compelled to submit. Gregory VII. 
made other changes in the election of bishops, and 

. • • • • 

* • • •• 


declared all the property of the Church, which heretofore 
had been obliged to pay a tax to the Crown, now independ- 
ent of the Emperor. He, in sum and substance, declared 
that " the Pope is through God and instead of God on 
earth ; therefore, all powers, whether temporal or spirit- 
ual, are subject to Him. The Pope is the sun, the 
Emperor the moon that shines with borrowed light." 

The Saxons who had suffered at the hands of Henry, 
laid their complaints against him before Pope Gregory, 
who, having before been appealed to by Henry, to aid in 
repressing these rebellious subjects, gave him the oppor- 
tunity to act as umpire between them. Gregory 
haughtily commanded the Emperor to come to Bome in 
person, accusing him of "simony," and excommunicated 
the bishops who had served Henry's commands. The 
Emperor called a convocation of German bishops at 
Worms, A. D. 1076, and deposed Gregory. 

Gregory now retaliated by releasing Henry^s subjects 
from their allegiance to him and declared him deprived of 
his imperial dignity* With the exception of the inhabit- 
ants of cities, and the free peasantry, who still held to 
their ancient Germanic Constitution, "there was none so 
poor as to do him reverence." There was no help for him, 
unless he could free himself from the pontifical interdict. 
The election of a new Emperor was attempted while Henry 
was made a close resident of his castle at Spires. 

In this state of embarrassment, Henry escaped, and 
with his wife Bertha and infant son, set out for Italy, 
accompanied by a single knight, said to have been Freder- 
ick, an ancestor of the Hohenstaufen family. The little 
company traveled over the frozen country, the coldest 
season within the memory of man, towards the land of 
forgiveness. They crossed the Alps, and Bertha^ " whom 


danger nor distress could sej^arate from the King, was 
drawn over the ice seated on an ox hide." 

When Gregory heard of Henry's arrival in Italy, and 
knowing that he would draw to his standard the disaffected 
bishops and Italian princes, for the safety of his person he 
entered the fortress of Canossa, being on his way to Augs- 
burg. The Emperor, with his wife, knocked at the door 
of the fortress, and Henry was ordered to dispose of his wife 
and come alone. Obeying, he was allowed to enter the 
castle. The Pope was surprised at the Emperor's penitence, 
and assumed greater severity. Upon the gates being closed 
Henry was forced to stand between the double walls of 
the fortress, three days and nights without food, bare- 
headed and barefoot, dressed in a woolen shirt, pleading 
to be released from the interdict. Through the media- 
tion of Matilda, an ally of Gregory, and on whose posses- 
sions the fortress stood, the Emperw was called into the 
presence of the pontiff. His approval was promised on 
condition that the final settlement of affairs in Germany 
should be left to himself, and that Henry should not 
resume the title of Emperor until permission was granted 
him by the Church. 

Mass was performed ; the pontiff taking the holy wafer 
in his hands, and breaking it in halves, said : " If the 
crimes which you accused me of at Worms be true, may 
the host that I now eat cause me instantly to die." Swal- 
lowing it, he continued. " Now eat the other half, and 
protest your innocence of the charges I make against 
you." The Emperor, refusing, was dismissed. 

The Italian adherentsof Henry, indignant at his craven 
spirit in thus humiliating himself, deserted him entirely. 
Stung by their scorn, he determined to shut Gregory up 
in the fortress and prevent his return to Borne, With a 


knowledge of this determination the interdicted bishops 
and German laity flocked to Henry's standard. 

A war of five stirring years now followed between the 
Emperor and Gregory ; Germany was divided into two 
great camps: the Archbishop of Mayence against the 
Emperor, and in favor of Gregory ; the Bishop of some 
other city against Gregory and in favor of the Emperor; 
clergy and Pope against Emperor and clergy ; and so it 
went on, the Emperor using every effort to dethrone the 
Pope, and the Pope every effort to dethmne the Emperor. 
The first battle was fought at Melrichstadt, which was not 
decisive, Henry commanding in person, wiiile "Rudolph's 
forces (Gregory's adherents) were headed by Otto of Nord- 

In 1080 another battle was fought, and Otto of Nord- 
heim was victorious, after which Gregory conferred upon 
Kudolph the title of Emperor, and placed a new diadem 
upon his head, — Henry being in possession of the genuine 
crown of Charlemagne. But Rudolph was to hold the 
German Empire only as a Papal fief. 

Henry was again excommunicated, and forthwith he 
convoked a Gennan conctliu7n, and deposed Gregory a 
second time, placing. the ArchbishoD of Eavenna, as Clem- 
ent III., in the pontifical chair. 

Henry now attacked Kudolph, and the latter was killed, 
leaving Gregory's party without a leader. New adherents 
hourly flocked to the Emperor's side. Leaving his affairs 
at home in charge of the Hohenstaufen whom he had 
made Duke of S wabia, he hurried off to Rome for the pur- 
pose of humbling his old enemy, Gregory. Proceeding 
to the city he took it by storm, a. d. 1083. Placing 
Clement III. in the chair, he was soleranlv crowned Em- 
peror again. Gregory, who had fled to Salerno, returned 



with a force of wild Normans, who proceeded to sack the 
city. The Romans collected in great numbers and drove 
the marauders away. Gregory again escaped to Salerno, 
where he died about 1085, saying : " Because I have loved 
justice and punished injustice I die an exile ! " 

After eflfeclually settling his enemies, a respite from 
wars followed, and for a rew years the Empire enjoyed a 
state of peace ; but with a peaceful country came discord 
in the family. Henry had left his eldest son, Conrad, at 
the head of aflfairs in Italy. Marrying lolanta, the daugh- 
ter of Roger of Sicily, and afraid of losing the imperial 
crown of Germany, on account of his father's excommuni- 
cation, Conrad caused himself to be crowned at Milan in 
1095. For this act he was disinherited by his father, and 
died of remorse, it is said, a. d. 1101. 

The already powerful Church party in Rome and Ger- 
many had enlisted in its service the poor but now famous 
monk, Peter the Hermit. As early as at the beginning of 
the tenth century it was customary for the very religious 
to make pilgrimages to Jerusalem to be able to pray at 
the tomb of the Savior of mankind. Their garb, a black 
cloak, a long staff, a broad-brimmed hat and a rosary, 
procured from Jerusalem, distinguished them from all the 
rest of the world. The Arabs, who were in possession of 
the Holy City, had permitted them to build churches and 
a hospital for the care of pilgrims, worn and sick with a 
year's journey on foot to Jerusalem. As the Jews had 
been the merchants of the East, and these Christian pil- 
grims were apparently in much better circumstances than 
themselves, a jealousy arose between them, which was the 
origin of a report that the church erected over the Holy 
Sepulcher was to be destroyed and the pilgrims would 
bencoforth be refused admittance within the wall? of 


Jerusalem. This disposition to keep oat the Christians 
was attributed to the Jews, and the terrible persecution 
of this people in France, in 1011 a. d., was the result of 
this report. Upon the taking of Jerusalem by the Turks, 
about 1085, a general persecution of the Christians in 
and around the Holy City took place. This caused great 
consternation throughout Europe. 

Peter the Hermit, returning from a pilgrimage, at the 
news, fired with holy zeal, determined to bring all Chris- 
tendom to the rescue of Jerusalem. Seated upon an ass, 
he rode through Germany, exhorting and calling upon the 
faithful to enlist for warfare against the infidel, and to 
snatch from his despoiling hand the sacred spot containing 
the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth. This direct appeal to the 
whole Christian Church was received with religious enthu- 

For nearly a thousand years the people of Europe had 
been fighting for territory. Since the days of Charle- 
magne something had to be provided for the employment 
of the numerous retinue of vassals attached to every duke's, 
graf s, bishop's and emperor's person. Even a release 
from the wars of the Franconian dynasty, which had been 
mostly between the temporal and spiritual powers of the 
Empire, would have been sufficient excuse for the flying of 
the masses to arms, in order to reach a country where the 
nearness of God to man was beheved to be greater than in 
their own land. 

To his standard Peter brought thousands upon thou- 
sands. Associated with him, and a man of action, was 
Walter " Sensavehor," or, as the Gernians called him and 
his followers, ^^Hcibenickts " — " have nothings," — and they 
were rightly named. 

Peter, pinning a large red cross upon his breast, made 



a holy vow " with this to conquer." His converts followed 
his example, and thus was started the first military 
organization, called " The Crusade." Several pilgrimages 
had been undertaken as early as 1033 a. d., in which great 
numbers had gone together — as many as seven thousand 
joining Siegfried, Archbishop of Mayence, only two thou- 
sand of whom ever returned to their homes. 

This first army of Peter the Hermit (forty thousand 
strong) was mostly composed of the fanatical poor, to 
whom any change was a boon. Every serf joining the 
holy ranks was declared free, and capable of bearing arms, 
the acme of every serfs ambition. 

It was difficult to control so suddenly enlisted an army, 
made up of so many nationalities, and, consequently, 
before leaving Germany and France, many excesses and 
crimes were committed against the inoffensive Jews, who 
were derisively called "the Crucifiers of Jesus Christ." 
Hardly had the holy army reached Hungary and Bulgaria 
when dissensions arose as to where supplies were to be 
obtained. Robbery and foraging were compulsory ; conse- 
quently but ten thousand of the great host were able to 
reach Constantinople, most of them having been killed in 
battles and starved to death. The spirit of adventure, 
which had never slept in Germany nor France among the 
higher classes, now had a new field opened up to it, and 
so enthusiastic did they become that many of the nobility 
spent their entire fortunes in fitting out expeditions for 
the Holy Land. 

In 1096 A. D. Chevalier Godfred, Duke of Brabant, the 
old ally of Henry IV., raised a body of ten thousand 
horse and seventy thousand infantry. He was joined by 
dukes, counts and princes, the whole number of the cru- 
sading army being swelled to more than a hundred thou 


sand men; some went by land, the French separating from 
the main body and crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Upon 
reaching Greece, their commander, Hugh de Vermandois,' 
was seized and thrown into prison, and was only released 
upon condition that he acknowledge Alexius, Emperor of 
Greece, his liege lord. There was no alternative to the 
French crusader, and he took the oath. When Godfred 
arrived, although enraged at seeing the brother of the 
French monarch a subject of Greece, he, in order to gain 
. an ally, took the oath of allegiance, when all the other 
princes and dukes followed his example. 

But through hunger, fevers, and the battles of Antioch, 
and the siege of the Mohammedan commander, Ker- 
bugha, the crusading forces were greatly reduced — some 
historians say to not more than three thousand knights and 
thirty thousand men. But while Kerbugha was playing a 
game of chess one day some of the crusaders succeeded 
in planting a black flag upon the highest tower in Antioch. 
Singing hymns, headed by Ademar, the Christians 
advanced ujx)n the Turkish camp, and put their army to 
rout ere they were aware of what had taken place. Upon 
tlie falling of the Turks' camp into the hands of the starving 
troops of Ademar, a public thanksgiving was held and 
Bohemund was made Prince of Antioch. 

The Mohammedans no longer opposed the advance of 
the crusaders. The Caliph of Egypt sent presents and 
gave them permission to worship in Jerusalem. 

Their wearisome pilgrimage was nearing its close. 
They were at Necropolis, and as all were impatient to 
reach the goal, the remnant of the army marched all night. 
It is said an eclipse of the moon took place during the 
night, which was interpreted to mean the fall of the 
Mohammedan Empire. The crescent was to rule no more in 


the East. Says Menzel : " At break of. day on the 10th of 
June, 1099, the travel-worn and blood-stained Christians 
reached the heights of Emaus, and, suddenly beholding 
the Holy City, with one accord sank upon their knees, 
kissed the sacred soil, and sang joyful praises to God. 
But difficulties were still to be overcome ; their number 
had diminished to less than two thousand horse and 
twenty thousand foot. The country around Jerusalem 
was an arid waste. The city was strongly garrisoned, 
and the harbor of Joppa was blockaded. But a Genoese 
fleet succeeded in landing its troops, who, hurrying to the 
aid of the Christian forces, assisted them in constructing 
high towers, but which, upon being pushed close to the 
walls of the city, were destroyed by " Greek fire." The 
pilgrims then began to march around the city in solemn 
procession, chanting hymns, and Peter .the Hermit 
preached from the Mount of Olives. Their enthusiasm 
now rose to madness, and finally two men, followed by 
Duke Gkxlfred, mounted the battlements. The crusaders 
followed, a deadly struggle taking place within the wall, 
and seventy thousand Mohammedans were slain. The 
Jews were burnt alive in their synagogues. Every infidel, 
of whatever nation, age or sex, was mercilessly destroyed. 
Jerusalem was taken July 15, 1099 a. d., and Godfred was 
made king. His brother, Baldwin, became Prince of 
Edessa ; Bohemund was already Prince of Antioch ; Tan- 
cred became Count of Galilee. These being placed in 
charge, the others of prominence returned to Europe. 

The usual troubles of the successful soon overtook 
them, however. Internal dissensions between the victors 
followed; and so fresh crusades were inaugurated for two 
objects — to reap new fame, and to annihilate the Turk 
and extirpate Islamism forever. Many battles were 



fought and many of the leaders killed, and still Islamism 

During all the first years, and until the taking of 
Jerusalem by the crusaders, Henry IV. continued Emperor 
of Germany, although excommunication had been pro- 
nounced against him again by Pasqual II., the Pope 
of the Church party. In 1104 his youngest and most 
beloved son, Henry, considering his father too old for 
the times, rebelled against him. His cause was supported 
by Pasqual, and the nobility who were opposed to his 
father ; but the cities remained faithful to the old Emperor, 
with one exception. The two armies of father and son 
were brought up near Eatisbon for the contest, when the 
father, in the sorrow of his heart, says the historian, fled, 
perhaps too hastily. He still had many adherents in the 
Rhine country, and a conference was proposed between 
father and son. The Emperor came, and, struck to the 
heart at sight of his ingrate child, fell at his feet crying, 
"My son, my sonl If I am to be punished by God for 
my sins, stain not thine honor, for it is unseemly for a son 
to sit in judgment over his father." This unnatural son 
appeared to feel remorse and started away to Majj'ence, 
where the Diet was being held. Succeeding in separating 
his father from his suite, he imprisoned him at Bingen, 
where the old Emperor was visited by several Papal 
bishops and requested to give up the crown jewels. 

To this he would not consent, and arraying himself with 
Charlemagne's insignia of power, he defied them to touch 
him. The bishops were unawed, and succeeded in gaining 
possession of the jewels and carried them to Mayence, 
where they were placed upon the person of his son. The 
Emperor had not abdicated. That must be required by 
the Diet. The Emperor wished to visit Mayence to argue 


his case, but his son, fearing his old adherents would rally 
around him, would only allow his father to proceed as far 
as Ingelheim, when, in company with the dukes of the 
realm, his son compelled him to sign his abdication. After 
escaping to Spires, and being refused assistance by the 
Bishop, whose cathedral the Emperor had richly endowed, 
it is said the old King was obliged to sell his boots for the 
wherewithal to satisfy his hunger. He died a. d. 1106. 
Two j'ears after his son was proclaimed Henry V. His 
favorite saying was : " Men have much and various knowl- 
edge, but no one is thoroughly acquainted with himself." 
He is said to have fought sixty-five battles. The son's 
experience with the Popes was similar to his father's. He 
was a strong character, inheriting many traits from his 
father and grandfather, Henry III. His vigorous gov- 
ernment soon brought down upon him the anger of his 
former Papal partisans, and it was not long before Henry 
V. was excommunicated by a synod held at Vienna and 
only because he refused to cede to the Pope his right of 
investiture ; in other words, the right to give possession of 
any manor, office, or benefice to a subject. The Emperor 
took no notice of this action of the synod, but employed 
his Chancellor, Adalbert, to settle the matter for him at 
Rome. The Chancellor, as commanded, opened negotia- 
tions u|X)n the basis that henceforth the strictest division 
between the powers of State and Church be adhered to — 
" the State never to meddle with ecclesiastical aflFairs, and 
the Church to remain unpossessed of lands and worldly 
wealth." This could not be agreed to by the Church, as 
the Chancellor well knew. But the basis upon which the 
Church would agree was this : That the Emperor resign 
his sole right to investiture ; also the sole right of appoint- 
ing bishoi>s ; to disclaim the right to Church lands and the 
royal dues from Church property. 


This cut short further negotiations, and Henry, seizing 
the persons of the Pope and his cardinals, made them pris- 
oners. A battle ensued between the Germans and Romans, 
in which the Germans were victorious. The Romans, 
reduced to extreme necessity, urged the Pope to conclude 
a treaty of peace with the Emperor. After two months' 
imprisonment Pascal yielded. The Emperor was to retain 
the right of investiture and Henry was never to be excom- 
municated as long as Pascal lived, and so Henry V. was 
crowned April 13, 1111. 

Upon the Emperor's return to Germany the Pope was 
advised to declare the agreement void, it having been 
extorted from him by force. The dispute now raged for 
ten years. Although Pascal did not excommunicate 
Hienry, many of the legates and heads of churches did, 
which occasioned fresh troubles in Germany between his 
adherents and the Church party. 

After Henry's Chancellor, Adalbert, deserted him, 
and whom he had made archbishop of Mentz, frequent 
troubles arose in the north of Henry's Empire. 

The Saxons, always ready for rebellion, joined the 
ecclesiastical party in favor of Lothair, as emperor of 
Northern Germany. Henry marched against them, won 
a victory, and the next year, 1114 a. d., married Matilda, 
the daughter of the king of England. It was on this 
splendid occasion that Lothair came barefoot, and, upon 
his knees, begged for mercy. 

The Emperor had seen the power of the dukes and 
other rich vassals in his father's thirty years' reign, and 
determined to curtail it in his. These efforts raised fresh 
conspiracies, which were always supported by the ecclesi- 
astical party, allied with the French. But the cities were 
all in favor of the Emperor, and whenever he called upon 



them for men or means they liberally responded. Leaving 
Northern Germany to take care of itself for awhile, and 
placing Southern Germany under the guardianship of a 
trusty Hohenstaufen, Frederick of Swabia, Ilenry set out 
with a large army — 30,000 horse, besides infantry and 
servitors — for Italy. Upon his approach Pascal II. fled 
from Eome, and the imperial crown was placed upon 
Henrys head by a Portuguese archbishop, the only pre- 
late to be found who could be induced to perform the cer- 
emony. The Emperor now proceeded to seize the rich 
lands willed to the Church by the Countess Matilda, 
Ilenry insisting that such ducal property should revert to 
the crown. Here he remained for two years, making 
friends. Whilst Germany was in the throes of a mighty 
controversy with Rome and her ally, the French, the 
princes and dukes continued their senseless disputes, so 
that but two cities, Cologne and Munster, remained zeal- 
ous supporters of Henry, the former opening her gates to 
receive the Emperor and the latter expelling the papal 

In 1122 a partial revulsion of feeling seems to have 
taken place. Henry had succeeded in surrounding 
Mayence, where Adalbert, his former Chancellor, but now 
at the head of the Papal forces, was encamped. The 
Saxons marched to the relief of Adalbert, but upon being 
met with such intense opprobrium by the other Germans, 
they became ashamed and a parley was held. A treaty 
of peace was held at "Worms, where it was settled that the 
Pope should have the right to invest the bishop with ring 
and crozier, but the election should be made in the pres- 
ence of the Emperor or his representative ; that the new 
bishop receive his estates as a fief of the crown, etc. By 
this concession the bishops were more dependent upon 

Koiiig ^ricbrid? 1. 



Rome than upon the Emperor, and the throne was corre- 
s|X)ndingly weakened. Henry was freed from the inter- 
dict A. D. 1122. Soon after a war broke out between 
England and France, and the Emperor's brother-in-law. 
Prince William, having been drowned, Henry V., Emperor 
of Germany, was next in succession to the throne of 
England. The Emperor left no means untried to unite 
Germany and England in this struggle against France 
and the papal power. But the princelings, grafs and 
dukes only saw the diminishing power of the vassals and 
the increasing power of the State in such a union and 
refused to come to Henry's aid. 

The Emperor was neither supported in his endeavors 
to lessen the troubles of the people. Says Menzel : " He 
expired in the prime of life, with the bitter consciousness 
of the defeat of all the schemes for the sake of which he 
had acted so criminally toward his father. A bad son, 
but a great emperor, whom misfortune might destroy but 
could not bend." Henry V. left no heir, and bequeathed 
his inheritance to Conrad and Frederick of Hohenstaufen, 
the sons of his faithful adherent, Frederick of Swabia. 


At the close of the reign of Henry V. " the Church came 
forward as a new power, with its resources better organized 
than those of the Emperor, with a deeper influence over the 
I^eople." Therefore it came to the point at last with Henry 
that the strength of the crown lay alone in his personal 
following. Henry V. was the last ruler of the Franconian 
dynasty. The next Emperor was Lothaire H., elected by 
the four nations, the Saxons, the Franks, the Bavarians and 
the Swabians, in the year 1125 a. d. He was elected on 
account of the support he had given to the papal party 


while Duke of Saxony. He succeeded in defeating the 
Hohenstaufens, whom Henry V. had made his heirs, in 
several battles. His reign was marked by the Diet of 
Magdeburg, a. d. 1135, at which the first regulations of 
the German Empire were framed. He died a. d. 1137. 
At his death the great struggle between Church and 
State, which had commenced with Henry IV. and was 
destined to become the burning question for centuries, 
was now openly avowed and sides taken." On one 
side stood the pontiff at Kome supported by France and 
an un-German faction in the Empire called " Guelphs." On 
the other side was the "Emperor, who, besides defend- 
ing the prerogatives of the State against the encroach- 
ments of the Church, sought more especially to uphold 
the interests and honor of the German nation against 
the Italians and French, in pursuance of which he was 
but too often treacherously abandoned by his own party 
in Germany." They were the Hohenstaufens and were 
called the Ghibellines from Frederick's birth-place. 


In the election which took place 1138 the Hohenstaufen, 
Conrad III., was elected Emperor because he was favored 
by the Pope. He is represented as having been a man of 
great beauty and intelligence. Scarcely had he been 
invested with regal power when the old feud broke out. 
The clergy themselves were not a unit in their oppo- 
sition, some of the convents and monasteries objecting to 
the control of local bishops, claiming to be only respon 
sible directly to the Pope at Rome. 

The former personal and communal independence of 
the people was fast passing away. The.Church assumed the 
all-directing power, to which the princes, as well as the 


lowly Gerraau peasants were required to bear unquestion- 
ing allegiance. To this slavish obedience the Hohenstauf en 
objected, and the population of the cities and towns in 
whose breasts stiU burned the old German spirit of national 
independence, rose up to aid the Emperor in throwing off 
the ecclesiastical yoke. A characteristic episode is related 
of Conrad's early reign. In a siege which had lasted for 
some time against the fortified town of Weinsberg, the 
Emperor commanding the " Ghibellines," and Henry the 
Lion, duke of Bavaria, the " Guelphs," or the contending 
factions, a battle was fought outside the walls. Conrad 
was victorious over his rebellious subjects. All, with the 
exception of a small detachment of Guelphs entrenched 
behind the walls of the town, acknowledged their defeat : 
but these absolutely refused to surrender. This, show of 
stubbornness so enraged the Emperor that he resolved to 
wreak vengeance upon the obstreperous garrison. He com- 
manded that only the women and children should be 
allowed to walk out unharmed, but the men should be put 
to the sword, while the city was to be given over to the 
soldiery for pillage. Famine at last compelled the garrison 
to accept the Emperor's terms. The women marched out, 
and, throwing themselves at the feet of Conrad, suppli- 
cated him to modify his terms of surrender. Conrad at 
last impatiently replied : "Well, in God's name, each of 
you may take what she can carry from the city on her 
back, and be gone in peace; but no more. This is all I 
will grant. " The astonishment of the Emperor can be 
imagined when, at daybreak the following morning and 
the evacuation was to begin, he and his soldiers beheld the 
women coming from the gates bearing upon their backs 
each a husband, brother or lover through the open gate. 
This womanly and unselfish act so affected the Emperor 


that ho permitted the whole garrison to withdraw without 
hindrance or molestation. 

Conrad went on a crusade, supported by the French, 
but both armies were almost deciminated ; Conrad sick, 
and Louis of France discomfited, both Emperors returned 
to their respective dominions, determined, for the time 
being at least, to let the Turks have the East. His son 
dying, Conrad did not long survive him. 

Conrad, the first Hohenstauf en, reigned fourteen years 
(a. d. 1152). The double eagle was introduced by him into 
the arms of the Empire. It was taken from the arms of 
the Greek Emperor, and was symbolic of the ancient 
Eastern and Western Empire. 

There being no opposition to the claim of Conrad's 
nephew, Frederick Barbarossa, the crown was solemnly 
placed upon his liead at Aix-la-Chapelle, in 1152, with the 
title of Frederick I. " He was remarkable," says history, 
"for his handsome and manly appearance, the genuine 
German cast of his countenance, which distinguished the 
whole family, and powerfully conduced to their popularity." 
Short-cropped, blonde hair, curling closely over a broad 
and massive foi^head, blue eyes, well-curved lips, a fair, 
white skin, well -formed and muscular, combined with sim- 
plicity in dress and manners, and a pleasing portrait of this 
noble chevalier is had. His beard, which inclined to red, 
gained for him the Italian sobriquet, " Barbarossa." His 
accession to the throne was under the most favorable 
conditions, to wit : with the sanction of all the heretofore 
warfaring princes. A peaceable reign was therefore pre- 
dicted, but such was far from being the fact. " Ever mind- 
ful of the greatness of his destiny, Frederick was at once 
firm and persevering, a deep politician and a wise states- 
man. He directed his principal attention to his most 


dangerous enemy, the papal party." Bestowing prizes, 
such as the crown of Denmark to Sueno, and the Duchy 
of Bavaria in reversion to Henry the Lion, and more to 
those opposed to Hohenstaufen rule, he made preparations 
to march into the heart of the enemy's country. Too 
proud to bend the knee to the ecclesiastical powers in Italy, 
and deeming it his duty to jealously guard the imperial 
dignity of the German crown, he determined to secure the 
peace of his empire by the imposition of shackles upon the 
Pope. He believed the pontiff would never suffer him to 
remain peacefully in possession of his rights, and therefore 
he must carry on the war in his adversary's habitation 
and among his ranks. 

Accordingly, in ] 164, two years after being crowned, 
Frederick crossed the Alps, and called all the Italian 
dukes and princes with their vassals, to act as his body- 
guard in the field. All who refused were to forfeit their 
fiefs. The Ghibellines obeyed but the Guelphs refused. 
Milan sent a defiant answer. As the city was too well 
fortified to attack, the Emperor proceeded to level to the 
ground the surrounding cities in communication commer- 
cially with Milan. At Pavia he seized the iron crown of 
Lombardy (Italy) and began negotiations with Hadrian 
IV. to crown him. Home trembled at Frederick's 
approach. "The Pope solemnlj^ crowned him at St. 
Peter's, and the Emperor in return held the stirrup of 
Hadrian, which, being interpreted, meant that the spirit- 
ual power could not retain its empire without the aid of 
the temporal. Frederick caused the picture representing 
Lothair's acceptance of the crown in fee from the Pope to 
be burnt, and expressed his displeasure at the artful manner 
in which the Church falsely sought to extend her authority 
by saying : " God has raised the Church by means of the 


Stale, but the Church seeks to overthrow the State. She 
has commenced by painting and from painting has pro- 
ceeded to writing. Writing will gain the mastery over 
all, if we permit it. Efface your pictures and rewrite 
your documents, that peace maybe preserved between 
the State and Church." 

Troubles arising at home, the Emperor was forced to 
return to Germany in 1156, his two years' siege in Italy 
yielding no satisfactory results. Difficulties arose in Bur- 
gundy, which were no sooner settled than Poland was in 
arms. Peace being secured, Milan was found in insur- 
rection over the collection of a tax. Frederick was again 
over the Alps with an army of 115,000 men, and Milan, 
after a year's siege, capitulated. He now ruled Italy with 
a rod of iron. Being called back to Germany to settle 
feuds, this task was soon finished by unseating one duke 
and placing a faithful vassal in his empty place. 

In 1164, Pope Victor dying, Frederick, with England, 
acknowledged Pasqual III. as the rightful Pontiff, while 
the papal faction chose Alexander III. 

This decision caused Alexander to lookout for himself. 
The German army had openly affirmed "they wanted 
nothing but gold." This had raised the whole Italian people 
against them, and Alexander made a triumphal entry into 
Home A.D. 1165, and there excommunicated the Emperor. 

Again Frederick was off for Italy, where he invested 
Pasqual with the tiara, and himself was a second time 
crowned Emperor in St. Peter's, 1167 His fine army was 
nearly destroyed by a pestilence. On his retreat beyond 
the Alps, being hotly pursued, he ordered the hostages 
taken by his army to be hanged by the roadside. He 
narrowly escaped death himself, the Knight von Sieben- 
eichen placing himself in the Emperor's bed while the lat- 
ter escaped under cover of night. 


In 1174 Barbarossa again crossed the Alps, compelling 
Henry the Lion, of whom he was always suspicious, to per- 
form field duty. The Lombard League assembled an 
immense army to oppose the Emperor. In 1176 a decisive 
battle was fought near Lake Como. Frederick was most 
disastrously defeated. He was reported dead for some 
days, but appearing at Pavia, where he found his wife in 
mourning for him, he was forced to acknowledge Alexan- 
der as Pope. The next year, at Venice, some historians 
say, Barbarossa was compelled to submit to the humiliation 
of lying prone upon the floor with Pope Alexander's foot 
upon his neck. Whether true or false, the Emperor was 
subdued, and soon after returned to Germany to discipline 
Henry the Lion. This duke, who was son-in-law of Eng- 
land's King, was exiled by Barbarossa for three years. 

Peace now reigned in Frederick's domains, but the 
Emperor was never to know rest. The news that Saladin, 
the Sultan of Egypt, had succeeded in recapturing the 
Holy City, which had been in the hands of the Christians 
for eighty-eight years, with the added information that 
the golden cross upon the church spire of the Holy 
Sepulcher had been thrown to the ground and the cres- 
cent substituted, created profound consternation through- 
out all Christendom, causing, it is said, a terrible shock 
to the Pope, from the effects of which he soon died. 
His successor, Clement HI., called upon the people and 
princes to hasten to the rescue of the Holy City. In 
response to his fervent appeals crusaders from all parts of 
the Empire flocked to Eegensburg to offer their services 
to Barbarossa. Although seventy years old, the Emperor 
placed his son Henry in charge of affairs at home, and, at 
the head of an army of 150,000 men, set out for Palestine. 

Scarcely had he reached the borders of the Greek 


Empire when his hardships began. Isaac, the Emperor of 
Greece, contenting himself with calling himself "The 
Holy," allowed the famishing army of European crusaders 
to shift for itself. Barbarossa, having formerly declined 
to acknowledge the Emperor's suzerainity, or to do him 
homage, many difficulties naturally met the Emperor of 
Germany everywhere. His army was refused provisions ; 
upon which Barbarossa gave his soldiers license to plun- 
der and devastate the beautiful country of Greece. With 
this wholesome example before him Isaac "the Holy" 
was soon brought to terms. Placing his entire fleet at the 
disposal of Barbarossa, the army was enabled to reach 
Asia Minor. They were met by a swarming horde of 
Turks and Arabs, whose forces, in several engagements, 
were beaten by the crusaders. Before the battle of 
Iconium, when Barbarossa's arm v had been reduced to less 
than ten thousand active men, the aged Emperor hastened 
to the front, and while encouraging his troops the old 
Hohenstaufen war cry was borne to his ears upon the 
breeze, at which note of encouragement Barbarossa's son 
hurried forward with a portion of the army, defeated the 
Turks and entered the city of Iconium. Putting great num- 
bers of the inhabitants to . death, the crusaders obtained 
immense booty. Barbarossa, believing his son to be lost, 
burst into tears, upon wliich his whole bodyguard fell to 
weeping. Surrounded by the Sultan's forces, there ap- 
peared no way of escape for the Emperor ; but, being 
equal to the occasion, old as he was, he rose to his 
feet, crying out, " Christ still conquers ! " headed his 
chivalry, assaulted the enemy and gained a great victory. 
Reaching Iconium, where plenty reigned, the army was 
united and a forward march soon ordered. Reaching 
the small river Seleph, tho road becoming blocked, Bar- 

jriebrid) IPiltielm T. oor feincn t&ttnMntn. 



barossa, impatient to cross, attempted to ford the stream. 
Owing to the heaviness of his mail, he was carried under 
by the current and drowned. His body was brought 
to shore by his trusty knights and buried at Antioch, 

A. D. 1190. 

The news of the renowned Emperor's death caused 
great consternation in the army, and for years it was not 
believed in Germany. 

Said a French writer of that period: " News so deadly 
piercing, even to the marrow and bone, has wounded me 
so mortally that all hope and desire of life have passed 
from me. For I hnve heard that that immovable pillar of 
the Empire, Germany's tower of strength and its very 
foundation, and that morning star which surpassed all 
other stars in splendor, Frederick the mighty, has ended 
his life in the East. Thus no longer exists that strong 
lion whose majestic countenance and powerful arm 
frightened savage animals from devastation, subjected 
rebels and made robbers live in peace and order.'* 

A legend still exists, showing the always prevailing hope 
that the unity of the German people might be again realized 
under the insigna of the double eagle. It is as follows : 
The ghost of the Emperor Frederick having passed into 
his castle, ' Kylf hauser Berg," in Wui*temberg, in a deep, 
cavern there he sits, his arms resting upon a granite table, 
and sleeps. His yellow beard has grown up through the 
granite during his long and troubled slumbers. At the 
end of every century he awakes and asks, "Are the ravens 
still flying over the mountain i " If answered, " They 
are, and no eagle has appeared to drive them away," he 
replies sadly, " Must I then sleep a century more ? " 

Barbarossa was followed by four emperors of the 


Hohenstaufen dynasty; Conrad IV., a youth of seventeen 
being the la-st. 

"The little church," says Menzel, "to which it was 
Barbarossa's custom to descend from the castle to hear 
mass still stands, and over the walled-up door may be read 
the words, Ilic t/ransibdt CcBsar, Portraits of the Emperor 
Barbarossa and his wife, Beatrice, may be seen at Welz- 
heim, near the church." 

Under this dynasty the order of knighthood reached 
us Highest splendor. The wara with the East had intro- 
duced new fashions and brilliant colors. The army had 
enriched the country with Eastern fabrics brought from 
the thriving Italian cities, and from the Oriental mer- 

The armies were dressed in woven mail, and resembled 
" glistening snakes," as the Turks declared. 

The principal entertainment furnished the people was 
the tournament, under the patronage of the nobihty and 
participated in by the chivalrous knights. These public 
exhibitions were as far elevated above the brutal gladia- 
torial entertainments of Rome as the humanitarian religion 
of this young German people was elevated above the dil u ted 
religion of Rome's highest civilization. 

These orders were founded upon the principle that 
right only deserved the succor of might. A solemn oath 
was taken in the presence of a prince or the Emperor not 
to draw the sword except for a noble cause. Then came 
the religious orders of knighthood, for the object of war- 
ring against the infidels in the East and in their own land. 
These were known as " The German Order of Knights," 
"The Brothers of the Sword," etc. 

But it cannot be denied that however much the pros- 
perity of the German Empire was enhanced under the 


Hohenstaufens, the liberties of the people were more and 
more limited. The agricultural classes were reduced to a 
state of simple slavery. All treated them alike; nobility, 
knights, clergy and tradesmen. The class known as free 
men, formerly tillers of the soil, had almost disappeared. 
The only recompense this agricultural class received for 
the loss of their liberties was the draining of vast tracts 
of swampy lands in Germany, the introduction of valua- 
ble grains and the cultivation of tlie grape. The Inliabi- 
taira of the towns and cities were, however, fast gaining 
in power and influence. They wei'e permitted to regulate 
their local affairs as pleased them best, being directl}^ 
responsible to the Emperors themselves. Of course, the 
old class distinctions still religiously prevailed ; there was 
still the domestic class, the tradesmen and merchant class ; 
these making common cause against the nobles, their pre- 
rogatives were considerably curtailed towards the end of 
the twelfth century. 

The cities of Frankfort, Mayence, Cologne, Nuremberg, 
Augsburg and others were teeming with newly created 
workshops, filled with artisans. Their merchants were 
pushing trade to the new East and North. The cities, 
having been leagued together, in time became the fore- 
most and most wealthy cities in the world, styling them- 
selves "The Hansa Confederation." Great progress was 
made in agriculture. It was at about this period, a. d. 
1248, that the foundation was laid for the magnificent 
cathedral at Cologne by the Freemasons, and v/hich was 
finished after William III. had again established a Ger- 
man Empire. This period in Germany's history is also 
marked by the revival of letters. The songs of the Niehe- 
lungen, by an unknown author — an epic poem similar 
to Homer, and from which the world-renowned music- 


composer, Wagner, has taken the stories of most of his 
operas — was written in the twelfth century. The Hohen- 
staufen princes produced a number of authors classed under 
the term mirmesingera (troubadours). Among the many 
writers of what was called minndieder (love songs) was 
Von TBogelweide, who sang not only of love but of 
national glory and the corruption that began to prevail 
in Church and State, such as the purchase of benefices 
and the selling of titles of nobility. These early poets 
began in literature what was finished six centuries after by 
Goethe, Schiller, Lessing and others. To the student of 
German history these early Teutons furnished heroes and 
heroines worthy the task of the most lofty imagina- 
tion. " It was a period when the practice of chastity and 
continence bestowed the blessings of health and strength 
upon the ruling people of Germany, and they had reached 
a state when loftiness of sentiment was synonymous with 
the term, ^chivalrous in purpose.'" Tbe reign of the 
Hohenstaufen dynasty represents tlie most glorious period 
of German history during the middle ages. 

With the fall of the Hohenstaufens the whole of Bur- 
gundy was lost to the German Empire. Naples and Sicily 
followed, and Lorabardy continued only to show the sem- 
blance of obedience. However, this loss was compensated 
for in the annexation of the Prussian territory. These 
people had been christianized by the " Brothers of the 
Sword," much in the same compulsory manner as Charle- 
mange had christianized the Saxons. 

These Prussians were a wild, independent people, gov- 
erned by chiefs and their priests, living principally by the 
chase and agriculture, and in frequent depredations upon 
the neigboring country of Poland. Although the " Broth- 
ers of the Sword," claimed great credit in the christian- 


KSnig ^tbridr 11. (i>tt (Srogt). 
Klag Frederic 1 1 (the Great). 



izing of these Prussians, the civilizing influence of the 
traders from the commercial cities in Germany was, prob- 
ably, the most eflfective agency in their conversion. 

Between 1232 and 1256 a. d., many of the neighboring 
inoabitants moved into Prussia and became absorbed with 
the native population. 

. f 




FOE nearly twenty-five years after the death of Con- 
rad IV., the last of the Hohenstaufen dynasty, Ger- 
many was in a state of anarchy. The decline of the 
imperial power, as well as the great growth of the cities, 
had increased the assumptions to power of the princes 
and their several grades from the highest dignity down ; 
these w^ere now called the " States of the Empire." These 
estates were jealously guarding their territory as well as 
their individual and collective prerogatives. There were 
the princes, the dukes, the margraves, landgraves, counts, 
barons, archbishops, bishops, convents and cities, each 
striving to attain the ideal ancient freedom enjoyed by 
their German ancestors. Some called themselves "free 
of the Empire " while others called themselves " free of 
the great feudal lords." 

Constant encounters took place between these small 
and large estates. Sieges and combats wore the years 
away, until the belligerents themselves wearied of this 
state of eternal contention, and determined to terminate 
it, and also, because Gregory X. had threatened to ap- 
point an Emperor unless speedy action was taken in the 
matter by themselves. They finally decided upon Rudolph 
of Hapsburg, a. d. 1273. He was the founder of the 
present dynasty of Austria. 

The uncompromising warfare which had been waged 
by the Ilohenstaufens against the ecclesiastical powers at 
Eome was not resumed by the Hapsburgs, the elevation 
to power of Eudolph being aided by the Papal party. 


I / 


Although possessing but a small strip of territory in 
Switzerland, upon which stood the Hawkscastle, and a 
similar estate near the Khine iii Swabia, he was from an 
old and noble family whose ancestry dated back to the 
seventh century. Intelligent and courageous, he became 
an able adviser in the councils of the estates, and an effi- 
cient conwrninder in the field. Ilis elevation to the throne 
was received with demonstrations of joy. Holding aloft 
a cross, in place of the usual scepter, on the occasion of 
his coronation, he said: "Under this emblem the whole 
world has been redeemed; it is the best scepter under 
which emperors can rule." This sentiment, embodying 
peace on earth and good will to men, was received by thg^ 
people with enthusiasm. (^ The only prince that refused to 
swear allegiance to the new Emperor was Ottocar, of 
Bohemia. He raised the standard of revolt, openly pro- 
claiming his intention to establish a separate Sclavonic 
Empire. Ottocar declared war and marched against 
Budolph, and was defeated and killed near Vienna, a. d. 
1278. Rudolph allowed Ottocar's son to still hold Bohemia, 
but the Duchy of Austria he presented to his son Albert^ 
Budolph never ventured beyond the Alps to secure 
for the crown Germany's rights and privileges in Italy. 
Gregory X. came in person to Lausanne to bless him, in 
order that he should have no excuse for visiting Rome. 
Rudolph humbly knelt at the pontiflPs feet, and promised 
unconditional obedience. Derided for this act by one of 
his subjects, he replied : 

"Rome is the lion's den, into which all footsteps enter- 
ing, never return ; I therefore prefer to serve rather than 
fight the lion of the Church." 

Rudolph^s principal solicitude during his reign was 


the promotion of the internal interests of Germany, and 
the furtherance of the peaceful avocations of the people. 
With these important reforms in view, he was not, how- 
ever, neglectful of his own private interests. The lack of 
territory experienced by his family he felt in duty bound 
to remedy, and this disposition cost him the most of the 
troubles of his nineteen years' rule. 

Having married his daughters to the Dukes of Bavaria 
and Saxony, and another daughter to the restored heir of 
Bohemia, son of Ottocar — excellent matches for the exten- 
sion of his power — ^he presented the Duchy of Austria to 
his eldest son Albert, and to Rudolph the younger the old 
Hapsburg estates in Switzerland and Swabia. At the age 
of sixty-six he married Isabelle of Burgundy, a child of 

He substituted the German language for the Latin in 
the recording of all official documents of his Empire. 

At the refusal of the Frankfort Diet to choose his son 
Albert his successor, bowed down with disappointment, 
the old Emperor started for Spire, and died on the way 
at the age of seventy-three, a. d. 1291. Through the 
haughty and grasping character of his sons, who were not 
possessed of their father's politic nature nor inspired by 
his generous aims for the welfare of the people, the Haps- 
burg dynasty lost much of its early prestige./ 

The electoral princes accordingly set Albert aside, and 
raised Count Adolphus of Nassau to the imperial throne. 
Soon discovering that Adolphus was determined to give 
the people a more liberal government, the princes turned 
again to Albert, and persuaded him to raise an army 
against their Emperor. The electors claimed that Adol- 
phus had received a subsidy of a hundred thousand pounds 

(Eljfalictb £t)rii)ine, <9<;maf)lin jriebcidi's II 



from England to become its ally against France, but, 
reconsidering the matter, had failed to carry out the con- 
tract or to return the money. He was called before the 
electors, but ignored their right to try him, when he was 
deposed. "War ensued, when Adolphus was slain by 
Albert's own lance. Upon Albert's accession he attempted 
to subjugate a part of Switzerland. Many of the cities 
and smaller communities had been allowed to retain their 
ancient local privileges, but Albert claiming authority 
through imperial power and the possession of Swiss terri- 
tory, began a series of oppressions, through the aid of his 
Austrian coadjutors or deputy governors. Of these small 
autocrats, clothed with quasi-judicial powers and sent to 
Switzerland, were Beringer von Landenberg and Gessler 
of Bruneck. 

The Hapsburgs claimed the shepherds of Schwj^z and 
Unterwalden as serfs, which the shepherds declared 
illegal, producing a document signed by former Emperors 
of Germany in evidence of their freedom. Albert was 
determined, nevertheless, as Emperor of Germany, to 
abolish the local differences of privileges and to subject 
the free communes to imperial rule. His governors 
proved neither unwilling nor slow in obedience to his 
commands. As an illustration of some of the persecutions 
suffered by the Swiss under Albert's governors, the old 
chronicle of Tschudi has the following : " In the year of 
our Lord 1307 there dwelt a pious countryman in Unter- 
wald, whose name was Henry of Melchthal ; a wise, pru- 
dent, honest man, well to do and in good esteem among 
his country folk ; moreover, a firm supporter of the liber- 
ties of his country and of its adhesion to the holy Eoman 
Empire, on which account Beringer von Landenberg, the 


Governor over the whole of Unterwald, was his enemy. 
This countryman had some very fine oxen, and on account 
of some trifling oflFense committed by his^on Arnold, the 
Governor sent his servant to seize the finest pair by way 
of punishment, and if the old Henry made any objection 
to being thus robbed, the servant was to tell him it 
was the Governor's opinion the peasants should draw the 
plow themselves. The servant carried out his master's 
commands. But as he unyoked the oxen the countryman's 
son Arnold fell into a rage, and, striking the servant's hand 
with a stick, broke one of his fingers. At this the son 
fled to the forest, where he concealed himself for a long time. 
The servant complaining to the Governor, old Henry was 
seized and his eyes torn out. His son, hearing of his 
father's wrongs, laid the matter secretly before the trusty 
people of Uri, who with him awaited an opportunity to 
avenge old Henry's misfortune." 

. Gessler, the Governor of Schwyz and Uri, treated the 
peasantry and citizens with equal cruelty. He erected a 
strong fortress for refuge in time of danger, and also as a 
means to keep the people in greater awe and submission. 
On being asked the name of the fortress, h^ replied, 
" TJri's prison." This greatly offended these law-abiding 
shepherds and peasants. The Governor, perceiving the 
anger of the people, wickedly determined to humiliate 
them still further. On St. John's day he caused a pole to 
be erected in the market place and a hat to be placed on 
the top. Every man who passed was commanded, on pain 
of confiscation of his property and corporeal punishment, to 
bow the head and bend the knee, as if to the King him- 
self. Placing a guard at the base of the pole to report 
those who refused obedience, the day found no rebels. 


Oir the following Sunday morning, however, an honest 
peasant of Uri, William Tell by name^passed several times 
hefore the hat u])on the pole witlvout paying it due homage. 
This was told to the Governor, Gessler, who on the fol- 
lowing morning summoned Tell to his presence. It would 
seem that Tell's insolence had been agreed upon, in 
order to bring about a collision between the people and 
their tvrannical Governor. The immediate cause of this 
resolution was that one day Gessler was riding through 
the country, when coming to a handsome house, and see- 
ing the owner, Wernherr von StiiuflFach, standing before 
the door, who welcomed him in a friendly way, the Gov- 
ernor inquired, " to whom the house belonged ? " Von 
Stauffach suspecting the question boded no good, cau- 
tiously replied, " My lord, the house belongs to my sover- 
eign lord, the King, and is your and my fief." At which 
the Governor rephed, " I will not allow peasants to build 
houses without my consent, or to live in freedom, as if 
they were their own masters. I will teach you to resist 
me," and rode away. 

These threats greatly disturbed the wise and thrifty 
Von Stauffach, and, entering his house, he told his wife. 
With a woman's wit she saw an escape from this no- 
longer-to-be-suffered bondage. Said she : " The people are 
complaining of this Governor's tyranny, and if some of you 
who can trust each other can meet, you may take counsel 
together how you may throw off this wanton power." 

Her husband hurried away to Uri, and finding Walter 
Furst, who mentioning Arnold, the son of blind Henry, 
he was called in, and these three agreed to call all the 
trustworthy people about them together, to take measures 
for regaining liieir ancient liberties and expelling the 
despised Governor 


In the Butli, a lonely valley between high mountains, 
near the lake of the four cantons, thirty-three patriots 
met, and swore to make Switzerland free. It is supposed 
Tell was of this number. 

When Tell therefore arrived at the summons of Gess- 
ler the Governor haughtily asked him "why he had not 
bowed his head and bent his knees to the pole with the 
hat on it?" Tell replied, "My dear lord, it happened 
unknowingly, and not out of contempt ; pardon me ; if I 
were clever, I should not be called Tell. I beg for mercy ; 
it shall not happen again." Tell was a good marksman, 
and had not his equal in the whole country ; he had, also, 
beautiful children, of whom he was very fond. The 
Governor sent for them, and said : " Tell, which of your 
children do you love the best ? " Tell answered, " My 
lord, they are all alike dear to me." Upon this the Gov- 
ernor said: "Well, Tell, you are a good and true marks- 
man, as I hear, and you shall prove your skill in my pres- 
ence by shooting an apple from off the head of one of 
your children; but take care that you strike the apple, for 
should the first shot miss, it shall cost you your life." 
Tell, filled with horror, begged the Governor on bended 
knees to dispense with the trial. " He would sooner die 
than shoot at his own child, etc., etc." Tschudi goes on 
to tell how the trial was made, and Tell was successful; 
how he had concealed an arrow for the barbarous Gov- 
ernor in the breast of his shirt in case he had shot his 
child, for which design Gessler swore he would take Tell 
to a place where he would never more behold sun or moon. 
Binding him, the servants took Tell to a boat to cross to 
Brunnen, when he was to be taken across the country to a 
castle to pass the rest of his life in a dungeon. While 


they were upon the lake a terrible storm arose, whereat 
Gessler and the servants became much frightened. Said 
the boatman : '^ My lord, Tell is a strong man, and can 
manage a boat well; let us make use of him." The 
Governor, who was in mortal dread of drowning, said : " If 
you bring us out of this danger I will release you from 
your bonds " ; to which Tell replied, " I trust, with God's aid, 
to bring you safely out of peril." Thereupon, Tell was 
unbound, and, standing at the helm, guided the boat care- 
fully through the waves ; but, watching his opportunity, 
as he approached a great rock he seized his cross-bow 
lying in the bottom of the boat, jumped out upon the 
rock, and, with a tremendous push sent the tossing craft 
back upon the billowy lake. Running to a secret retreat, 
he there lay in wait for the Governor and his servants. 
After some delay they came along the hollow way, and 
Tell, springing from his ambush, drew his cross-bow and 
shot the Hapsburg Governor through the heart. A 
chapel stands upon the spot, as well as upon the rock in 
the lake to commemorate the event. Tschudi further 
says that the first Swiss Confederation was formed a year 
after this event , to be in force ten years, with the reser- 
vation of their allegiance to the Emperor and Empire. 

" There has been a disposition to consider William Tell 
a myth," says Menzel, " but in 1388 a. d., in the provincial 
assembly at Uri, a hundred and fourteen people present 
declared they had known Tell personally, and that he was 
drowned at Burglen during a flood, while attempting to 
save the lives of several persons." 

Upon the death of Albert, although the crown of Ger- 
many was claimed by Philip of France for his brother 
Charles, the dukes and princes, fearing French domination 


in Germany, refused to elect him, but chose a small count, 
Henry of Luxemburg. He was a celebrated knight m 
the tournaments. He was crowned a. d. 1308, as Henry 
VII., though both the iron crown of Lombardy and the 
imperial crown of Germany were stiU in Italy. 

Historians say he proved to be one of the noblest 
Emperors who ever sat upon the throne of Germany. 

" Deeply conscious of the duties imposed upon him by 
his station, he followed in the steps of Charlemagne and 
Barbarossa, remaining a stranger to the petty policy of his 
late predecessors, who sacrificed the State for the sake of 
increasing the wealth and influence of their own houses. 
Repelling the assumptions of France, and repairing the 
losses sustained by the Empire since the fall of the Hohen- 
staufens, he kept aloof from the broils engaged in by his 
jealous princelings at home. The Italians had become 
weary of French rule, and the time seemed propitious for 
again uniting Italy to the German Empire, but he was not 
supported by the aristocracy of his realm. Said the 
Emperor sadly : * Enemies multiply abroad, when those 
before whom they were wont to tremble are engaged in 
dissensions at home, and the bitter feuds between the dif- 
ferent races in Germany, will, ere many years elapse, 
become deeply and ineradicably rooted.' " 

It is said Henry VII. was poisoned by a monk while 
receiving the holy sacrament, August 24, a. d. 1313. He 
was upon the point of being married to Catherine von 
Ilapsburg, who awaited him at Pisa, and, instead of her 
royal bridegroom, was met by his corpse. 

The oligarchical electors now became divided, each sup- 
porting an aspirant for the empty throne. The Guelphs 
and Ghibellines, old enemies for centuries, marshalled 


their separate electors, and the contest resulted in placing 
two kings over the people — Fre(ierick III., a Hapsburger, 
and Louis of Bavaria, a Luxemburger, both grandsons of 
Kudolph I. The young men were friends, their childhood 
having been passed together. Separated by political 
events, and*plac«d at the head of their respective factions, 
they were forced to outwardly appear enemies. Privately, 
however, they bore each other no ill-will. After a hotly- 
contested battle they were said to have slept together as 
two cousins. Frederick having been taken prisoner during 
the battle at Ampfing, a. d. 1322, instead of allowing him 
to be executed, the King offered to divide the honors and 
powers of the imperial crown with him at his release. The 
Pope and electors protested against this arrangement. It 
was finally settled that Louis should bear the imperial title 
alone, but Frederick, as German King, should share the 
administration in Germany. Frederick dying in 1330, 
Louis became sole ruler. It is said that during the four 
years of Frederick's imprisonment in the castle Trausnitz, 
his blonde hair turned gray, and his wife, the daughter of 
the King of Aragon, wept herself blind. He was called 
Frederick the Fair. 

The authority of the Papal power having declined 
since the faU of the Hohenstaufens, as the power of the 
electors had increased, and still more after the removal 
of the Papal seat from Bome to Avignon, where, it 
was claimed, the French prelates used its influence for 
political puri)oses and to the detriment of German prog: 
ress, the Emperor offended Pope John XXII. by 
pushing the Guelphs to the wall whenever the opportu- 
nity offered. The Pope having summoned Louis to 
appear before him^ to which the Diet objecting, Louis, 


supported by the electors, declared the Pope a heretic, 
and, starting for Italy, deposed him, and placed Nicholas 
V. in the pontiff's chair. It is claimed that the crumbling 
clerical hierarchy would have fallen at that time but 
for the half-hearted course of Louis. Allowing himself 
to be intimidated by the Avignon power, the princes 
finally took up the gauntlet, and in a^ convocation at 
Eense, 1338, formed an electoral league and promulgated 
the declaration, "that every legally elected Emperor 
of Germany had received his power from God, and was 
entitled to all its rights and prerogatives, without previous 
or present recognition from the Catholic Popes." Yet, 
notwithstanding this bold declaration, Louis had not the 
strength of character to carry it out. By his deposition 
of Pope John XXII. the Italians were disaffected, and 
the King was forced to retire fi'om Italy. This setback 
affected the future coui'se of Louis. 

In 1347, after strengthening his power at home by the 
addition of Holland, Zealand and Friesland, he thought 
himself strong enough to undertake another expedition 
into the Papal dominions, but during the excitement of 
the chase, near Munich, he died from apoplexy or, as 
some say, from poison. 

The discord that prevailed between the electors, 
princes and the Emperor, encouraged the Swiss to attempt 
re confederation. At the pass of Morgarten, a. d. 1315, 
an encounter took place between the German forces under 
Leopold, and the Swiss peasants on foot, who successfully 
resisted the German " harnessed knights " with halberds, 
clubs and huge stones rolled from the mountain sides, 
when they retreated with heavy loss. This encounter fur- 
nishes the Swiss of to-day with material for many a patri- 


otic, poetic and self-laudatory song or speech at their 
gatherings at home and abroad. 

A league still existing to further confederation, 
another battle was fought in 1339, at Laupen, against the 
neighboring German nobles and won by the Swiss. Eight 
ancient cities and places now formed a confederation, 
Luzerne, Zurich, Glarus, Seckingen, Zug, and later Berne 
was added to the number. 

It was during the ten years of Louis' reign, from 1337 
to 1347, that those fearful natural visitations fell upon 
Europe. Comets, swarms of locusts, earthquakes in 
Cyprus, Greece and Italy, followed each other in quick 
succession. In Carinthia thirty villages were reduced to 
mere heaps of ruin by earthquakes, a dreadful pestilence 
called the " black death" soon after following. It has 
been estimated that a million of people perished during 
this pitiless scourge. About this time the Univereity of 
Heid elberg was founded. Louis was the last Emperor 
excommunicated by the Popes. His death was the signal nJv^ 
for the beginning of active operations by the Franco- 
Roman party to have a German Emperor of their Church 
views elected. They succeeded in placing the Margrave 
of Moravia upon the German throne. 

Charles IV. was his title, and he was expected to serve 
the French against England, " though," says the historian, 
" he was too prudent a politician and too sensible of his 
dignity to allow himself to be long enchained to the petty 
interest of a French king." It was at the battle of 
Crecy, in which the French were so signally defeated by 
the English, that the English King, upon hearing of the 
part taken by the Germans in the battle, exclaimed : <^ O 
ye Germans 1 how could ye die for a French king ? " 




The sword of the blind Bohemian King bore the in- 
scription Ich Dien at this battle — " that is," says Menzel, 
" God, the ladies, and right " — and was assumed at the time 
by the English Prince of Wales as his motto, and still 
remains such. Charles reigned from a. d. 1347 to 1378. 
The only remarkable act of his reign was the promulga- 
tion of the document called the "golden bull," which 
gave to the seven electorate princes of Mayence, Treves, 
Cologne, Bohemia, Palatinate, Saxony and Brandenburg 
the exclusive privilege of electing the Emperor of Ger- 
many. This "golden bull" remained in force until the 
peace of Westphalia, 1648, and almost entirely prevented 
contests over elections. 

Wenzel, the son of Charles IV., was elected as his suc- 
cessor. Germany was passing through internal changes of 
thought requiring a strong hand at the helm. A fierce 
war raged between the powerful aristocracy and the in- 
habitants of the cities. The latter formed leagues called 
Jyimda. The Rhenish Bund and the Swabian Bund took 
nearly the same position as the Swiss Confederation had 
taken, and threatened to become as powerful. But while 
the Swiss secured their lasting independence at the battle 
of Sempach, a. d. 1385, the Swabian Bund was completely 
routed in 1388 a. d. at the battle of Doffingen — called 
**the war of the cities." Wenzel established judicial dis- 
tricts, called circles, to secure the public peace. Wenzel 
was too young, and the Germans called him " a fool." 
Having attempted to interfere in the settlement of some 
clerical difficulty he excited the ire of some of the elect- 
ors, who very unceremoniously deposed him and placed 
Rupert, elector of the Palatinate, upon the throne. 
Haxdly had Rupert been crowned before he declared war 


against France, and, to win favor of the cities, abolished 
the costoms or tariffs of the Bhine. This act turned the 
nobility against him. Wenzel continually waged war 
against Bupert to regain his rights. Bupert died in 1410 
and was succeeded by Sigismond of Hungary. This king's 
reign, which lasted twenty-seven years, forms one of the 
saddest and most discreditable pages in German history. 
The disorganization of the Christian Church, through its 
persistent assumption and efforts to retain political power, 
and consequently its neglect of the real spiritual needs of 
the people, had reached a state appalling to its real 

From Sigismond's coronation dates the period termed 
by historians " the Period of the Kef ormation." He was 
far from being the Emperor of his times. But it is claimed 
for him that if he had not the energy and power to cor- 
rect and improve the tendency of the period, he was intel- 
ligent enough to see the evils and to suggest a cure. But 
he was not listened to. He was a great spendthrift, and, 
consequently, was always in need of money. To provide 
for his necessities, and to have the means of paying his 
expenses to Spain — ^undertaken for the purpose of persuad- 
ing one of the Popes to abdicate — he sold his whole estate 
and electorship of Brandenburg, in 1415, to Frederick of 
ZoUem, for 300,000 ducats. The purchaser was an ances- 
tor of the present Emperor of Germany, and from this 
period the HohenzoUerns became a political power in 
Prussia. Two events which transpired during the reign of 
Sigismond have served to tarnish his name throughout the 
ages, and whatever good he accomplished was outweighed 
and lost sight of in the bigoted and barbarous execution, 
A. D. 1415-'16 of the two worthy and learned men, John 
Huss and Hieronymus of Prague. 


Many demands for a refomiation of the Church prac- 
tices had come from Northwestern and Western Europe. 
The most powerful impulse to the movement, as in the 
early days of Winf ried, had come from England. John 
Wickliflfe, a professor of theology at the University of 
Oxford, had by his writings caused intense interest in 
Germany and Bohemia. Two professors at the Univer- 
sity of Prague, John Huss and Hieronymus, became 
enthusiastic advocates of his teachings, and were active in 
their propagation. Their course roused the indignation 
of the ecclesiastical party. Huss went so far as to accuse 
the clergy, as well as the Popes — of which, at this time, 
there were no less than three— of gross immoraUties. Hav- 
ing refused to appear before Pope John. XXIII. at Eome, 
to answer to the charge of scandalizing the heads of the 
Church, he was excommunicated a. d. 1413. A council 
was called at Constance, at which the notable princes 
and nobles of Germany and the most powerful Catholic 
prelates from all parts of the world assembled, ostensibly 
to settle the legal right of one of the three Popes to the 
pontifical chair in Borne, but in reality to determine the 
rights and discipline of the Church. 

As Huss did not recognize the authority of the Pope, 
John XXIII., he was cited to appear before the Council, 
Sigismond having promised him safe conduct. On the 
way Huss had given free expression to his doctrines, and 
upon his arrival had preached an offensive serijdon, for 
which he was immediately imprisoned in a narrow dun- 
geon in the Concilium building, upon the Lake of Constance, 
near which the sewers of the town emptied. Other mat- 
ters for a time occupying the attention of the Council, and 
Huss being attacked with fever, he was removed to the 


Castle of Gottlieben by command of the Bishop of Con* 
stance, and chained hand and foot to the wall of his dun- 
geon (these chains are still to be seen at Constance). 
Here he remained for nine months^ or while the Council 
settled the Papal affairs of Germany and the rest of the 
world, after which he was called before it. As Huss 
entered the assembly room, it is affirmed, a solar eclipse 
darkened the earth. Addressing the Emperor who pre- 
sided, seated upon a throne, he thanked him for his safe 
conduct, upon hearing which Sigismond's face turned 
scarlet with shame. Huss then attempted to explain his 
doctrine, but the Council would not listen to him. The 
articles of accusation, says history, were then read to Huss 
and he was ordq^ed to recant. 

He was charged with having maintained the existence 
of four gods, at which Huss smiled unconsciously. Other 
charges were, that he had promulgated doctrines con- 
demned as heretical by the Church, such as " that laymen 
as well as priests might partake of the Lord's Supper ; 
that a priest unworthy of his office could not dispense 
the sacrament ; that the Holy Ghost rested upon the 
whole congregation ; that every pious laymen was fitt^, 
without being ordained, to act as spiritual teacher and 
guide ; that the authority of the Bishop of Eome did not 
extend over foreign nations, and that, lastly, obedience 
was as little due to a wicked prince as to a wicked Pope." 

Bepeated addresses were sent from Bohemia to the 
Council, in behalf of their protege^ but their demands were 
unheeded. Deprived of his priestly office by the Council, 
a high paper cap, upon which were printed three devils 
with the inscription, "The Arch-Heretic," was placed upon 
Huss' head. Huss made no objection, simply observing, 


"Christ wore a crown of thorns." A procession wa43 
formed and Hnss was taken to an open space in the sub- 
urbs of Constance. Bound to the stake, and seeing a peas- 
ant heaping up wood near him, Huss cried out, " O zeal- 
ous simplicity." The wood being kindled, the martyr's 
voice was heard singing hynms until the flames deprived 
him of his courageous breath. It is claimed that he pre- 
dicted Luther's advent by saying, " To-day you will roast 
a goose (meaning himself), but a hundred yeai*s hence a 
swan will appear that you will not be able to destroy." 
Ilieronymus, who had come to Constance to aid his friend, 
fled in despair, but was captured, thrown into prison, and, 
through hunger, torture and sickness, was induced to 
recant. But this act only hastened his condenmation. The 
following year, a. d. 1416, he shared the fate of his 
co-worker and sufferer, John Huss. 

Jlistory says, that owing to the choice of the church 
for holding the Council, Constance was ruined. The mur- 
ders of these two men lay like a curse upon the beautiful 
city, which never flourished after. The hopes of the Cliris- 
tian world in the work of the Council were thus doomed to 
disappointment. True, an Italian cardinal, as Martin V., 
was raised to the Papacy, putting an end to the anomaly 
of three Popes issuing decrees to the Church at the same 
time, but a religious war was the ultimate result, engen- 
dered between the adherents of Huss and theip opponents, 
which war lasted from 1419 to 1435. The Hussites were 
led by John Zizka, who had been Chamberlain and favorite 
of the Emperor Wenzel ; but becoming enraged against 
the priesthood, he took up the cause of the anti-Catholic 
party against the King. Their insignia was a cup, which 
originated from the casting to the ground by a cardinal- 


legate, the cup lield by a Huss preacher as he was about 
to celebrate the Lord's Supper. It was at this time the 
churches and monasteries, as well as royal palaces, of Ger- 
many and Bohemia, were edifices of linequaled splendor 
and of which but a faint idea can be formed at the present 
day. Upon the garden walls of the royal residence at 
Prague, destroyed during this war, was written the whole 

After the death of Pope Martin V., his successor tried 
every means to bring the war to a terminus. The Maid of 
Orleans, who had helped drive the English out of France 
and was revered as a saint, was induced to write a letter 
to the Hussites, admonishing them of the crime of warring 
longer against the holy ordinances of the Church. To 
which letter they replied : " You well know what sepa- 
rates us from you ; you preach with your mouths, we 
practice it in our acts." 

Sigisraond died a, d. 1437, and was succeeded by his 
son-in-law, Albert II. Like his Hapsburg predecessors he 
was a faithful adherent to the policy of the Church, which 
policy had permitted one hundred and ten heretics to be 
burnt at Vienna, and thirteen hundred Jews for having 
aided the Hussites. Albert died two years after his coro- 

Frederick III. succeeded him, also a Hapsburger. That 
he was a slow man may be believed, as it took him eleven 
weeks to decide whether he would take the crown or not. 
He, having decided in the affirmative, was after permitted 
to reign fifty-two years. 

During his long rule and almost undisturbed peace 
Germany developed her internal resources. The arts, 
industry and sbciety improved ; the federative system was 


begun ; that is, a nnion of the greater and lesser estates 
of the Empire was brought about — that of the eccles- 
iastical orders with those of knighthood and of the citi- 
zens in the provincial Diets ; the union of the government 
of the electorates and duchies, by the new method of 
judicature, and, lastly, by the corporative system in the 

Frederick's Chancellor, Casper Schlick, who had also 
served in the same capacity with Sigismond and Albert II., 
was a doctor; "a man who reached fame far beyond his 
merit," says Menzel ; " who never understood the spirit of 
his times, nor the duty of the crown, but solely occupied 
himself in veihng the deficiencies of his three masters, and 
deferring by plausible negotiations decisions of the great 
questions that agitated the age. Thus, by his diplomacy 
were the people deceived, and the great lesson taught by 
the Hussite war of no benefit, to them." Frederick III. 
was the last of the German Emperors who were crowned 
in Eome. While this Emperor lived an uneventful life, a 
simple subject of his, a German mechanic, studied night 
and day to perfect an invention which has done more 
towards bringing about the humane age in which we live 
than all the emperors, kings, popes, presidents or digni- 
taries that ever dwelt upon the earth. His name was 
Johann Gansfleisch or, as he took his mother's name, 
Gutenburg of Mayence, and his machine, the primitive 
printing press, was given to the world a. d. 1450. In 
1493, Maximilian, the son of Frederick III., and known 
as the " Last Knight," quietly ascended the throne. He 
was .thirty-four years old, and a man of great acquire- 
ments for the age in which he lived. Inheriting the 
strength of his Polish ancestry and the mental qualities 




of his Portuguese mother, Eleonora, he was chivalrio, 
modest, gentle and amiable. It is said of him that when 
he went to the Netherlands to marry Mary of Burgundy, 
"he appeared at Ghent, mounted on a brown steed, 
clothed in silver-gilt armor, his long blonde locks crowned 
with a bridegroom's wreath resplendent with pearls and 
precious stones, and rode into the city, where he was met 
by his prospective bride. The youthful pair, upon behold- 
ing each other, knelt in the public streets and sank into 
each other's arms. ' Welcome art thou to me, thou noble 
Grerman,' said the young Duchess, ^ whom I have so long 
desired, and now behold with delight.' " They were mar- 
ried A. D. 1478. After the birth of her two children, 
Philip and Margaret, afterwards married to the children 
of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, the patrons of Colum- 
bus, the beautiful bride, while hunting was thrown from 
her horse and fatally injured. She died in the bloom of 
youth A. D. 1482. 

Maximilian I. reigned twenty-seven years. This 
period may fitly be termed, the transition period from the 
decline of feudalism to the age of human progress. It was 
eminently a revolutionary period in the minds of men. 
" On neither side was contentment to be found," says the 
historian Kohlbausch. The old accepted privileges of the 
Emperor and the States had become more than ever unde- 
fined. The princes often resorted to open war in order to 
extend or defend their territory and titles. Whatever the 
Emperor had intended to accomplish, he was prevented 
from doing by want of means. The greater portion of 
the revenue formerly allowed to the Crown had been 
appropriated by the States. Maximilian finally suc- 
ceeded in inducing them to demand of every person of 


the Empire one penny out of every thousand he possessed, 
or a tenth per cent., towards the maintenance of the Crown. 
This tax was seldom regularly paid. The Emperor 
attempted to establish a post to facilitate communication 
throughout his realm, but the project failed, on account of 
want of means and the state of the roads. The federation 
of every class made representation in the Diet now pos- 
sible. Tiie dukes no longer ruled the whole assembly. A 
distinct court of justice was established, but, says history, 
'* however excellent ideas he possessed, or however honest 
of purpose were the Emperor's efforts, all was alike una- 
vailing against the torrent of opposing interest." 

Says Menzel: "Maximilian I. intended well. He fer- 
vently desired to march against the Turks; to reannex 
Italy to the German Empire, to chastise France, but he 
was a prisoner in the midst of the weapons of Germany 
and a beggar in the midst of her wealth." 

He wrote a book of anecdotes, receipts, etc., and left 
a biography, the life of an adventurous Knight rather than 
that of an Emperor. 

Before the close of his reign, the troubles of the Refor- 
mation began. The seed planted by Wycliffe in England, 
by Huss and Hieronymus in Germany, had sprung up 
and borne plentiful fruit. Respect for the ecclesiastical 
hierarchy had nearly vanished. The old German univer- 
sities had been the bitterest enemies of Huss, and a new 
school had been founded by his followers, independent of 
the universities, at Deventer. These students under the 
name of the "Brethren of Common Life," were 
allowed to study the dead languages, and finally came to 
be known as the " Humanists." The study of Hebrew, how- 
ever, excited the suspicion of the Papal powers, and one 


of its advocates, who insisted the Bible should be read in 
the Hebrew language, was imprisoned for life. Pope Leo 
X., who was a pure man, who became cardinal at the 
age of thirteen and Pope at thirty-seven, was a patron of 
art. He was blamed, however, for draining Germany of 
most of its revenue to build the gigantic church of St. 
Peter's. After the crusades, instead of going to Jerusalem, 
pilgrimages wore made to Eome, and whoever laid an 
offering on St. Peter's shrine was to receive remission for 
his sins. These oflferings were to be sent every Jubilee, 
and were found to be so productive they came to be 
held every twenty-five years. Millions were poured into 
the Papal treasury. As all could not go to Eome, the 
means of purchasing absolution was offered by a paper 
currency, with the price of every sin fixed, and this cur- 
rency was offered for sale throughout Christendom. This 
indulgence was termed " The Roman Pardon." The wor- 
ship of the Virgin Mary had become almost as important as 
that of God or the Savior at this time. 

The Emperors, suffering for money, became restive at 
the immense sums raised by the sale of indulgences, and 
in 1500 A. D. it was declared, in an imperial decree, that 
two-thirds of this amount should be retained for the 
defense of the government against feared attacks from 
the Turks. Nothing came of it however. About this time 
two men of great learning, Erasmus and Melancthon, the 
latter a zealous " Humanist," appeared as preachers advo- 
cating a reformation in the Church ; but although it 
came to be an age of learning, the common people were 
far removed from its influence, and the scholars, liberal- 
minded as they were, had not the power or wanted the 
courage to teach them openly and freely. In all ages 


men have arisen however, ready and fitted for tne per- 
formaiice of the duty demanded of them. This man of 
courage and ability was Martin Luther, the son of a poor 
miner of Saxony (those Saxons were a wonderful people, 
always found opposing tyranny of every sort). He became 
a monk and a professor of theology at the new Human- 
ist University at Wittenberg in 1512. His first public 
action w^as inspired at the shameless conduct of a retailer 
of indulgences in Saxony. He published his work, "Ger- 
man Theology," in 1516, a work, says the historian, written 
in the simple severe style of the best mystics; he attacked 
the follies and depravity of the age, not with satire and 
irony (the weapons used by former preachers), but with 
the earnest gravity of a monk, a stranger to the world. 
In 1517, he brought out in the church of Wittenberg, 
ninety-five arguments against indulgences, the principal of 
which were : that, by sincere repentance and penance alone, 
not by the payment of money, could sins be remitted ; that 
the Pope, being merely the vicegerent of God upon earth, 
could only remit the external penances ordained by the 
Church on earth, not the eternal punishment awarded to 
the sinner after death. 

This utterance would have fallen dead upon the Chris- 
tian world at large but for Gutenberg's printing press. 
Europe was inundated with copies of these Lutheran 
declarations in less than a month. 

Maximilian's son Philip dying in 1606, after his own 
death, Frederick of Saxony was proclaimed regent until 
Philip's son, Charles V., should become of age. This 
Emperor's boast was " that the sun never set on his domin- 
ions." His possessions were Germany, the whole of Spain, 
Naples and the late Spanish conquests in America. 


Cliarles left Spain for Germany a. d. 1521. The 
princes and representatives of all the estates of the 
Empire flocked to Worms to receive the new Emperor. 
A Diet was convoked, ostensibly to regulate the affairs of 
the Empire, but in reaUty to decide the Lutheran contro- 

The German princes were pleased with the courtly 
bearing of their Spanish-born Hapsburger, and seeing the 
necessity of maintaining peace and the unity of the estates 
against the designs of Francis I. of France, appeared 
indifferent to Luther's schism, and Luther was curtly 
ordered to appear before the Diet and retract his heresies. 
On his arrival two thousand people escorted him to his 
lodgings. His demeanor, as he confronted this imposing 
assembly, was that of a man secure in his position. In 
vindication of his offense, he spoke at length in German, 
which the Emperor requested him to repeat in Latin. 
He declared he could not recant in such emphatic 
language, that four hundred of the German nobility were 
ready to defend him at all hazards. Luther was put under , 
the ban ; that is, he was divested of the right to preach, ) 
and the people were forbidden all intercourse with him, j 
or to perform any office of humanity for his support ojj 
comfort. It is said the young Emperor bitterly lamented 
after, that he had not made a similar end of Luther that 
had been made of Huss and Hieronymus. 

On his way home from Wonns Luther was seized, pre- 
sumably by his consent, and carried to "Wartburg castle, 
where, confined by his friend and patron, Frederick of 
Saxony, he translated the Bible into German. While he 
was lost to the world, Melancthon, Von Hutton, Erasmus 
and Zwingle carried on his work. England's king, Heniy 


VIII., carried Luther's doctrine to its legitimate end by 
throwing oflP the Papal yoke. Charles V. in 1521 raised 
his old tutor, Adrian of Utrecht, to the pontifical throne. 
This excellent old man projected a comprehensive reform, 
but, before his work was accomplished, he expired. His 
successor, Clement VII., said : " The separation of the 
North was far less perilous than a general reformation ; 
that it was much better to lose a part than a whole." 
No sooner, however, had the reformers made decided 
progress in their crusade against the mother Church, than 
they began to wrangle among themselves. Some enthusi- 
asts went so far as to declare that most of the doctrines 
held by the Church were mere delusions, calculated to dwarf 
the intellect and keep the people in a state of perpetual 
serfdom. Luther remained conservative, and it was said 
of him by the more progressive reformers, " that, though he 
had led the people through the Red Sea, he had deserted 
them in the wilderness." 

While the teachings of Luther were expected to have a 
far-reaching and beneficent influence upon the mass of 
mankind, in allowing more freedom of religious thought, 
their immediate effect upon the ignorant and down-trod- 
den peasantry was to rekindle the hope for greater polit- 
ical freedom. This sentiment was seized upon by fanat- 
ical preachers — adventurous knights — who at the prospect 
of a war added every species of fuel to the already smold- 
ering fire. 

The peasantry revolted, and, joined by several cities 
under the leadership of Thomas Munzer and others, pre- 
sented their grievances to Archduke Ferdinand, the brother 
of Charles V., who had been made ruler over Germany 
during the Emperors absence in Spain. The twelve 


demands made by the peasantry are good evidence of 
their acquaintance with the fundamental rights of man as 
expounded at a later period, to-wit : 

*'The right of the peasantry to appoint their own 
preachers, who were to be allowed to preach the word of 
God from the Bible ; that the dues paid by the peasantry 
were to be abolished with the exception of tithes for the 
maintenance of the clergy, the surplus to be applied to 
alleviating the sufferings of the poor ; the abolition of 
vassalage as iniquitous ; the right of hunting, fishing and 
fowling; that of cutting wood in the forests; the modi- 
fication of socage and average service ; that the servant 
be guaranteed protection from the caprice of his lord; 
the modification of the rent upon feudal lands, by which 
a part of the profit would be secured to the occupant ; the 
administration of justice, according to the ancient laws, 
not according to the new statutes and to caprice; the 
restoration of communal property illegally seized ; the 
abolition of taxes on the death of the serf, by which the 
widows and orphans were deprived of their right, and the 
acceptance of theaforesai4 articles, or their refutation, as 
contrary to the Scriptures." 

They wished Luther to become one of the arbitrators ; 
but he refused, some say, because the peasants had become 
Anabaptists. They accused him "of having deserted the 
cause of liberty and of rendering the Reformation a fresh 
advantage for the Princes, or a new means of tyranny." 
Numbers of the nobility were forced bodily to join the 
peasants' rebellion. Many scenes of bloodshed followed ; 
barbarous executions and terrible hardships fill many 
pages of the history of this contest 

As might have been expected, led by fanatics and free- 


hooter knights, such as Goetz von Berlichingen, Metzler and 
Jeyer, the revolting peasants were subdued, after which 
fearful reprisals were taken by their conquerors. John of 
Ley den and two others, after being publicly exhibited in 
several German cities, as a spectacle, were tortured with 
burning pincers, and put to death by piercing their hearts 
with a red-hot dagger. Their bodies were placed in iron 
cages and hung from the steeple of a church in Miinster. 
The state of the survivors was now more melancholy than 
before, as Charles V. and his brother were looking more 
towards the extension of the Hapsburg possessions than 
to the internal affairs of Germany. Bohemia and Hun- 
gary having been added to the Empire by the marriage of 
Ferdinand with the sister of Louis of Bohemia, Francis 
I. of France now claimed the attention of the Emperor, 
which absence rather aided the Reformation in Germany 
than otherwise. 

In 1543 Charles set out for Italy, where he brought the 
whole country under subjection through the valor of his 
Spanish soldiers. The next year he collected an army of 
30,000 Germans, and marched into France. When within 
two days' march of Paris Francis made proposals of peace, 
which were gladly accepted by Charles, and signed, a. d. 
1544, at Carpi. Burgundy remained with France, but 
Francis pledged himself to support Charles, not only in 
checking the Turks, but in restoring the unity of faith, 
as the anxiety felt by the Emperor and the Catholics lest 
the Protestants should acquire superiority throughout 
the Empire was not without foundation. The electors in 
many instances were declaring themselves decidedly in 
favor of the new cause. Universities were also adding 
their learning and strength to Luther's cause. 



One of these electors, Hermann of Cologne, wished to 
introduce into his bishopric important reforms and invited 
Melancthon to aid him. The corporation of Cologne and 
other Catholics in power were opposed to the adoption of 
these doctrines, and appealed to the Emperor and the Pope 
to use their authority in the case. To make a long story 
short, the Emperor felt himself called upon to employ as a 
last argument against the innovations demanded by the 
converted electors the force of arms. Charles repre- 
sented to the Pope that, unless he joined him in active 
cooperation against the Protestants, he could do nothing, 
as he himself had not the means, and the Catholic princes 
of his realm were without energy. Prompt support being 
promised, the alliance was completed, and Charles, to be 
at peace with the outside world, concluded a treaty with 
Francis I. of France. 

Says Kohlbausch: "A critical period had now arrived 
in the Emperor's life. In forming the resolution to accom- 
plish with the sword that which he had so long endeavored 
to effect by peaceful means, he fell into a great error, 
falsely imagining that the mighty agitations of the mind 
could be checked and held in chains by external power. 
From that moment, on * the contrary, he was himself 
vanquished by that very overwhelming epoch, the course 
of which until then he had appeared to direct and hold in 

The Smalcald League — the articles of confederation 
having been drawn up by Luther, the principal members of 
this league being the Prince Elector of Saxony, the Land- 
grave Philip of Hesse, the Dukes of Bavaria and others — 
were all the strongest opponents of Charles and his allies. 
A battle was fought at Muhlberg, a. d. 1547, in which the 


Emperor gained the victory, and took away the territory 
of the Elector of Saxony, giving it to Duke Maurice. This 
ungrateful noble, offended at Charles' preference for Span- 
ish statesmen, such as Alva and others, thought himself 
called upon to defend the German princes, and, with sev- 
eral of these, formed an alliance with the French king, now 
Henry II., against Charles. 

This army suddenly marched against the Emperor in 
the spring of 1552. They hastened through Germany, 
and, after taking the castle of Ehrenberg, reached Inns- 
briick but a few hours after Charles had left ; he, being 
sick with the gout, had been hurried across the Alps on a 
litter. After this victory the truce of Passau was nego- 
tiated, under which fighting was to be suspended and 
religious toleration promised to the Protestants. This 
was assured by the Diet of 1555, at Augsburg. It was 
also agreed to permit princes and barons to promote the 
Reformation in their own territories , that subjects who 
would not accept the religion of their lords must be 
allowed to emigrate. Church estates were not to be 
secularized ; ecclesiastical princes were required to tol- 
erate the Protestant worship; and if a prelate should 
adopt the Reformed faith he must give up his clerical 
dignities. This appeared a gain altogether for the 

Finding that much of his great Empire was slipping from 
his grasp, Lorraine being annexed to France, Charles became 
discouraged. He was doubtful as to the outcome of the 
great religious controversy that had progressed slowly but 
surely in his eastern empire since the execution of John 
Huss. At the Augsburg Council Charles announced his 
Intention of resigning the kingdoms of Spain, the Indies, 


Kaples, and the IN'etherlands to his son Philip, who had 
but recently married Mary of England. The project, 
although combated by the Catholic party, was adhered to 
by Charles, who, sending for Philip, transferred to him at 
Brussels, in the same hall in which he, forty years before, 
had been declared of age, all his possessions except Ger- 
many. Addressing the princes and nobles, who were all 
deeply affected, the Emperor said "that since his seven- 
teenth year his whole thought had been to promote the 
glory of the Empire ; that he had always been anxious to 
be personally present in all his undertakings, that he 
might be an eye-witness of their progress and results, for 
which reason his entire reign had been almost one unin- 
terrupted scene of pilgrimage and traveling ; that he had 
been nine times to Germany, six to Spain, four to France, 
seven to Italy, ten to the Netherlands, twice to England, 
twice to Africa, and finally that he had made eleven voy- 
ages by sea ; that now, however, his sinking body warned 
him to withdraw from the tumult and vexation of temporal 
affairs, and to transfer the burden of all these cares to 
younger shoulders," and much more of serious import ; 
after which, he turned to his son Philip, who had fallen 
upon his knees and now kissed his father's hand, and 
earnestly exhorted him to use every effort in his power 
to render his reign a glorious one. 

His brother Ferdinand was formally acknowledged 
Emperor of Germany by the Electors, and Charles V. 
alone gladly entered a monastery of Spain, a. d. 1556, where, 
two years after, he died at the comparatively youthful age 
of fifty-six. This act has ever since caused the world to 
wonder. A powerful monarch, a successful general, a 
man of marvelous executive ability, at the treachery of 


adherents, to resign all his earthly splendor in order to 
pass his remaining days in utter seclusion, is a mystery 
human intelliorence has found difficult to solve. 

About ten years before Charles' death Luther had 
died at Eisleben, at the age of fifty-three. They were men 
of one period and worthy combatants. Both died unsatis- 
fied with their work — the Emperor, doubtless, because he 
had done too much against the Keformation; Luther, 
because he had not done enough for it. 

Of the Emperor it is said: " His private life, for the most 
powerful monarch of the age, was decent and orderly. He 
was inferior to no general of his times ; was the first to 
arm when a battle was fought, and the last to take off his 
harness ; was calm in great reverses ; indefatigable in the 
discharge of business, and, if it had been possible that half 
a world could be administered as if the property of a pri- 
vate individual, the task might have been accomplished by 
Charles V. On the other hand, Luther had striven to 
direct the minds of the people towards those things in life 
which tend to the growth of character. He had always 
striven for peace, ^ a condition with which the people were 
hardly acquainted at that period in history.' " 

To use Luther's own graphic language, he was himself 
" rough, boisterous, stormy, and altogether warlike ; bom 
to fight innumerable devils and monsters, to remove stumps 
and stones, to cut down thistles and thorns, and to clear 
the wild woods.'' Dissimulation and cowardice were 
unknown to him. He was a most faithful representation 
and original type of the German national character. Emi- 
nently a man of the people, there is no other name to-day 
that is so revered and loved as Luther's ; more, even, than 
Winf red (Boniface) is he considered the apostle of Ger- 
man Christianity. 



Says Carlyle : " The basis of Luther's life was sad- 
ness, earnestness. In his latter days, after all his tri- 
umphs and victories, he expresses himself heartily weary 
of living ; he considers that God alone can and will regu- 
late the course things are taking, and that perhaps the 
day of judgment is not far off. As for him, he longs for 
one thing; that God would release him from his labor and 
let him depart and be at rest. They >understand little of 
the man who cite this in discredit of him. I will call this 
Luther a true, great man ; great in intellect, in courage, 
affection, and in integrity ; one of the most lovable and 
precious men; a right spiritual hero and prophet; once 
more a true son of nature and fact, for whom these cen- 
turies, and many that are to come yet, will be thankful 
to heaven." 

At the close of Luther's life Germany was on the eve of 
one of the most destructive civil wars that ever visited any 
country known in modem or ancient history. " The time 
had come," says a great writer, " when the Germans were 
to render their most important service to mankind. The 
great Reformation found its origin and support in the 
character of the German race. From the beginning these 
people were distinguished by their preference of substance 
to form; of reality to show; of the inward and spir- 
itual as opposed to appearances and display. They 
were from the earliest times the most independent 
and individual of men; passionate in their love of 
freedom ; Protestants by nature in Church and State ; 
resolute in upholding the right of private judgment 
and personal liberty. 'Tis true these characteristics 
kept the German Empire from becoming a strong na- 
tional power ; but they, also, saved the German mind 


from religious enslavement and made Germany the battle- 
field of the Reformation." 

Having already shown that even the emperors of Ger- 
many were dependent upon a swarm of independent pow- 
ers, authorizing their electors to act for them, it will be 
seen that doctrines or beliefs embraced by individual feu- 
dal lords, cities or leagues, were not to be gauged by an 
edict or a council met together to formulate dogmatical 
articles of faith. 

Accordingly the Council of Trent, held at intervals for 
eighteen years for the purpose of coming to some under- 
standing as to the course to be pursued to strengthen the 
Mother Church, and, if possible, to regain the princes and 
electors who had deserted her for the heresies of Luther, 
Erasmus, Melanclithon and others proved of little avail in 
healing the breach in Germany. The cause of its ill- 
success for the Protestants, says one historian, " was the 
mixture of foreigners presiding at these councils, whose 
knowledge of our nation was little or nothing, but whose 
influence, from the commencement of our history, in all 
external as well as internal affaii's, always deprived us of 

The Council closed in 1 563, and Ferdinand I. died in 
1564. He was praised as an excellent monarch by both 
parties. Catholics, as well as Protestants. 

Ferdinand's eldest son, Maximilian II., was chosen by 
the Electors as his successor. Said his father in praise 
of him, at an assembly of the princes of the realm, 
"endowed with considerable intellectual powers, great 
address, mildness, and goodness of heart, he is likewise 
gifted with all the other princely virtues and good mor- 
als ; possessing a disposition open to all that is truly just, 


good, and lionorable, together with a sincere love for the 
holy empire of the German nation, the glory and pros- 
perity of which it would be his honest desire to promote ; 
that he was master of the six languages usually spoken 
in Christendom, and was consequently enabled to regu- 
late in person all transactions with foreign powers." The 
wiilely circulated expression of Maximilian's, that " God 
alone could hold dominion over the conscience," caused 
the Protestant electors to trust in him. Bohemia, the 
radical Refonnation ground in Germany, was well satisfied 
with Maximilian's elevation. 

Until about this time (1565), there had been no serious 
outbreak against the Reformation; but after llie Council 
and the doctrines of the Church had been sharply and 
clearly defined, the breach became widened between 
Catholicism and the two brandies of the reformei's, — 
Lutherans and Anabaptists. The inquisition was again 
set in motion throughout Southern Europe. The " Society 
of Jesus," founded by the Spaniard, Loyola, was devot^ 
solely now to resisting the spread of the Reformation. 
" By founding schools, endowing chairs in the universities 
and skillfully occupying the confessionals of princes," 
says Lewis, "they soon acquired enormous influence 
among all classes." The conflict was no longer for the 
]X)wer of individual States, but for the religious and 
political enslavement of all the people of Europe. But 
the eighteen thousand terrible deaths inflicted by the 
Inquisition failed to lessen the enthusiasm of the reformers. 
William of Orange, the son of a German prince, declared 
the Netherlands independent of the Spanish crown in 1581 
Queen Elizabeth of England undertook the work of pro- 
tecting the freedom of Europe from Catholic supremacy; 


but France, under Charles IX., Maximilian's son-in-law, had 
attempted to annihilate the Protestants (Huguenots) at 
one blow by the massacre of St. Bartholomew's day. 
Maximilian TI.,upon hearing of this unnatural horror, said: 
" Would to God, that my daughter's husband had taken 
my advice." 

Under Maximilian, who was known to be favorable to 
the Keformation, most of his Austrian subjects adopted 
the Augsburg Confession, Vienna becoming almost 
entirely Lutheran. After reigning eight years he was 
succeeded by his son, Eudolph II., who had been educated 
by the Spanish Jesuits, and accordingly the policy of 
Spain and the government of Germany were now one and 
the same, to-wit : to war against Protestantism. Eudolph 
paid no respect to his father's guarantee of religious 
freedom in his own territory, and revolts soon followed. 
The Princes called together a council and deposed Rudolph, 
"because his Imperial Majesty had at various times 
betrayed his incapacity of mind." 

Placing his brother Matthias over Austria, Hungary 
and Moravia, they allowed Eudolph to retain Bohemia. 
But the Protestants of Bohemia now forced Eudolph to 
grant them, by letters patent, the full privileges of their 
several ranks, and, in particular, the freedom of religious 
worship. Eudolph, dying in 1612j of a broken heart at 
his brother Matthias' treatment of him, Matthias, now as 
supreme ruler, attempted to carry water upon both 
shoulders, metaphorically speaking. The Protestants, 
however, were not united against the Papal party. The 
Lutherans were opposed to Calvinism. It was not a con- 
genial religion for the gay nature of the Germans. It 
savored too much of gloom and revenge. At this time, 


owing to a half century of comparative peace, " Germany 
was richly peopled, well cultivated, and appeared to be at 
the summit of her prosperity." 

The cause of the terrible war which followed, history 
attributes to the course of " two young princes, cousins of 
the Emperor, educated together in the school of the 
Jesuits, who burned with zeal to restore the old Church 
to its original power, and to destroy the heresy of Luther 
throughout the land." They were the Duke of Bavaria, 
Maximilian, and Ferdinand of Styria. Bavaria had 
remained largely Catholic. The Protestants of Donau- 
werth having broken up a monastery procession, the 
Emperor pronounced a ban upon the city and gave the 
Duke orders for its execution. Capturing the city, he held 
it as security for the cost of the siege, and restored with 
the sword the worship of the Catholic religion. This 
caused the Protestants of South Germany to form a 
union for self-protection. This union expected help from 
France. To counteract this party the Catholics formed a 
league, most of them prelates. They expected help from 
the Emperor and Spain. Thus stood the state of the 
religious controverey about the year of Matthias' elevation 
to supreme power. The contest, so far, had resulted in 
the ascendency of the Mother Church. The direct inci- 
dent which is regarded as the beginning of hostilities, and 
which resulted in the " Thirty Years' Religious War of 
Germany," is told in history somewhat a£i follows : The 
Abbot of Braunau closed an evangelical church,* then 
building ; the Archbishop of Prague caused another to be 
torn down. The Protestant nobles regarded these acts as 
violations of the letters patent granted by Budolph II., 
and complained to Matthias. Being angry, he threatened 


them as disturbers of* the peace. They believed his 
decision was prompted by the report of two of the ten 
councilors he had left to govern Bohemia, during a royal 
journey through his empire. At a council called by the 
Protestants at Prague, soon after, after a^rolonged and 
bitter dispute with the two suspected councilors, a mob 
gathered and threw the traitors out of the window, 
^' according to the Bohemian custom," it is claimed- 

Although the distance was eighty feet, the two men 
were but little hurt, and this was regarded as a miracle, 
the Catholics declaring they had been upborne by angels' 

The whole of Bohemia was now in arms. Matthias, 
sick with dropsy, tried to have Ferdinand, his heir, seek a 
reconciliation, but it was claimed the Jesuits defeated 
every effort for peace. 

Matthias died in 1619, while both parties were prepar- 
ing for the terrible struggle. Ferdinand II. succeeded 
his father, all the electors, both Catholic and Protestant, 
voting for him except the elector of the Palatinate. While 
the crowning festivities were at their height, the news 
came that the Protestants of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia 
were opposed to Ferdinand. They preferred the young 
Protestant elector of Palatine, Frederick, whose wife was 
the daughter of James I. of England. Frederick went to 
Bohemia, and upon proclaiming religious liberty, the 
altars ami images of the cathedral were destroyed by some 
zealots and the church fitted up as a Calvinistic place of 
worship. As much in earnest as were the Lutherans, 
they could not tolerate such sacrilegious behavior by Cal- 
vinists. Therefore, although offered aid by the French, 
and by German princes, the Bohemians, at the approach 


of the imperial army (divided among themselves) retreated 
under the walk of the city of Prague. Led by the Duke of 
Bavaria, a decisive battle was fought at White Hill, 
Prague, November, 1620, and the Protestant Bohemians 
utterly defeated. The Duke withdrew the letters patent, 
closed the Protestant churches, and drove the people to 
mass. In six months, twentj^-seven nobles were executed 
in the market-place of Prague. Thousands left their 
homes, destitute. All the institutions of learning were 
taken in chai^ by the Jesuits. It is believed that, 
during these wars of persecution, the population of Bohe- 
mia, which in the beginning numbered about four millions, 
was reduced to less than eight hundred thousand. A state 
of uncompromising warfare against Protestantism being 
now established by the Emperor and Papal party, the 
people accepted it and went to work. From the battle at 
White Hill (1620)— the day of the landing of the Pilgrims 
in America — until the Peace of Westphalia in 1648^ there 
was not a foot of territory that could one day be safely 
said to belong to this or that prince, this or that country, 
this or that religious party. 

Says the historian: "The nobles themselves grew 
barbarous in the wild work of war, in which they were in 
no degree behind the common soldiers ; or else were tamed 
and humbled, their spirits broken by continued misery 
and privations. The defiant spirit of their ancestors was 
gone. A nobleman's estate brought him now little reve- 
nue. The peasant had lost his means of support; the 
citizen his business and enterprise. In short, the German 
life at the end of the contest looked like death. The 
imperial unity of the nation was gone, and German history 
might have ended hero but for the two great elements of 


life which had survived throughout their national distress ; 
the spirit of the Reformation and the inborn constructive 
vigor always shown in communities inheriting a share of 
the old Saxon blood." These characteristics had been 
preserved in an eminent degree among the people living 
east of the Elbe and called Prussians. Although wars 
had devastated these marshes, and their great Elector, 
Frederick William, had espoused the Protestant cause, 
this region had not suffered so much as Southern Grermany. 
The Elector had built up his power out of the wreck of 
the Empire, and in a short time Brandenburg became the 
center of the great political and intellectual revival of 
Germany. It. is not the object of this brief historical 
sketch of the reigning families of Germany, to follow the 
fortunes of the Hapsburg dynasty to the end of its 
supremacy in Germany proper, a. d. 1806, but only to 
touch upon the reigns most necessary to make clear the 
conditions of the Hohenzollem supremacy in the German 
Empire of to-day. 



THE earliest ancestor of this royal family of Ger- 
many dates back to Count Thassilo, who lived about 
the year 800. Not mucb is known of his descendants 
until about a. d. 1236, when the family was divided into 
two branches, the Franks and S wabians, the former becom- 
ing the ruling family. It is not important to follow the 
careers of these petty princes and their successors up to 
the year 1415, when Sigismond, the Emperor of Germany, 
at the date of IIuss' execution, sold the estate of Branden- 
burg to Frederick and conferred upon him the title of 
elector of Brandenburg. 

The real founder of the Brandenburg Prussian family, 
however, was Frederick "William, the great Elector, who 
was bom a. d. 1620. He succeeded his father, George ' ^ ^o 
William, the tenth Elector, when but twenty years of age. ^O- ^ 
He was brought up under the overwhelming shadow of ' ^-^ ^ ' 
the terrible Thirty Years' Civil War. In truth, h e was jus t 
thirt y years old when the peace of Westphal ^ ^Ya»*^'g"^,^ ' ^ ^^ J 7 
returning to him his lost provinces and constituting him ^-(, n.issrHt 
sovereign of his own domain. With that * unconquerable 
energy, possessed in a remarkable degree by the Hohenzol- 
lem family, the Elector immediately dismissed his father's 
Chancellor, Adam von Schwarzenberg, a Catholic, who had 
kept his father first upon one side and then upon the 
other of the belligerents, on account of which vacil- 
lating policy the territory of Brandenburg had unneces- 
sarily suffered. 

^ 187 


As is generally claimed, when a man reaches an exalted 
position, the Elector's mother had much to do in shaping 
his mind and character. He spent several years at the 
University of Leyden, devoting himself to the studies 
required to be mastered by princes of those da3^s. 

Having had his first military experience at the siege 
of Breda, which his uncle, Frederick Henry of Orange, had 
invested, he had an opportunity to become acquainted 
with the distinguished soldiers and statesmen then col- 
lected at the Netherlands. This active school had much to 
do in directing his future course. Thereafter he thought 
and acted for himself. After the peace he directed his 
attention to the organization of a standing army. In a 
comparatively short time he had 25,000 troops disciplined 
according to the Swedish military system. In 1655 he 
formed an alliance with Charles X. of Sweden, and took 
the city of Warsaw in Poland. This secured the inde- 
pendence of the Duchy of Prussia, which had been feud- 
atory to Poland. 

In 1673, the Elector formed an alliance with the 
Emperor Leopold I., the States of Denmark, Hesse-Cassel 
and other German cities, to hold in check Louis XIV., who 
had seized a line of the frontier towns. Through the 
treachery of the Emperor the Elector was defeated, and 
forced to give up Wesel and Kees. Two years later the 
Swedes, marching into Brandenburg as allies of Louis XTV., 
were met and completely routed. Pursuing the flying 
array into Pomerania, the Elector reduced a great portion 
of this province, which he released again to Sweden 
upon the payment of three hundred thousand crowns. He 
now directed his attention entirely to the building up of 
his government and to the welfare of his people. 


In 1685 he issued the celebrated edict of Potsdam, 
which edict followed in the same month Louis XIV.'s 
edict of Nantes. Edicts were not generally issued by mere 
Electors at that time, and, accordingly, Frederick WiUiam 
edict was considered something out of the usual course. 
Mme. de Maintenon having succeeded in inducing Louis 
XIV. to assent to the revocation of the instrument which 
guaranteed to the Huguenots religious liberty, the fate of 
Protestantism in France was sealed. Persecutions fol- 
lowed, and those who could not be forced to abjure their 
religious belief, and who were able to evade the guards on 
the frontier, sought refuge in other lands. Some went to 
England, some to Holland, some to Switzerland, some came 
to the United States, and a great many went to Germany. 
Frederick William, himself a Protestant, saw that the very 
best element of the French agricultural and industrial pop- 
ulation would in time seek ways of bettering their condi- 
tion. He was anxious to re-populate his devastated estates 
with this element, and sent repeated invitations for them 
to come and make his principality their home. A large 
number accepted the invitation as early as 1661, but it was 
not until the revocation of the edict of Nantes, twenty-four 
years after, that the immigration assumed important pro- 
portions. The far-seeing Elector, believing that now thou- 
sands would seek refuge in other lands, and desiring to 
encourage the stream to flow in his direction, formally 
issued the famous edict of Potsdam, in which he promised 
religious freedom and a safe asylum throughout his domin- 
ion. He also promised assistance and free transportation. 
These inducements had the effect of bringing over more than 
twenty thousand French Protestants into the Northern 
part of Germany. In fact, the Elector was so anxious thus 



to increase nis population that he used much of his per- 
sonal means, declaring '^ that he would sell his plate rather 
than that these Huguenots should lack succor." It is 
stated by the historian Weiss that this immigration into 
Prussia consisted of soldiers, manu&cturers and laborers. 
All received assistance in money, employment and privi- 
leges. This hospitality of the wise Elector proved a great 
blessing to the future of Prussia^ while the Huguenots, in 
their turn, contributed in a proportion very superior to 
their number to the greatness of their adopted countiy. 
History has justified the remark of Frederick the Great in 
his letter to the Duke d'Alembert: "Allow me to differ 
with you," he writes, " in regard to the revocation of the 
edict of Nantes. I am under obligations to Louis XIV. 
for it, and would be thankful to his nephew if he would 
do the same thing." This great Elector, whose principle 
it was to let every man travel liis own way toward a future 
state of happiness, characteristically expressed in these few 
words the significance of the edict of Potsdam. 

This is but one of the many opportunities he availed 
himself of to add to the prosperity of his people and estate. 
The " Great Elector " died at Potsdam a. d. 1688. He was 
succeeded by his son Frederick, the eleventh Elector of 
Brandenburg. The manner in which the son reached a 
throne and became Frederick I., King of Prussia, shows 
him to have been a man of unusual diplomatic ability. 
The Austria Hapsburgs still claimed suzerainty over the 
whole of Germany. Frederick's territory, after some pur- 
chases from spendthrift Electors, and an inheritance of the 
counties of Linden and M3rs from William HI. of Eng- 
land, whom the Brandenburg troops escorted to Whitehall, 
included a little more than forty-five thousand square 


miles, a principality not quite so large as the State of New 
York. Europe was agitated by two great wars; that of 
the North, between Peter the Great and his allies, Au- 
gustus II. of Poland and the King of Denmark, and Charles 
XIL of Sweeden ; that of the South, the " War of the 
Spanish Succession." The Hapsburgs were anxious for an 
alliance with the powerful Elector of Prussia, whose land 
did not belong to the Empire. Says the historian Lewis : 
" To pretend to royalty in his German possessions was 
impossible for Frederick as long as the form of the Empire 
continued to exist." The shrewd Prince Eugene signifi- 
cantly said of the situation at the time : ^^ The minister 
that would advise Leopold II., Emperor of Germany, to 
recognize the Prussian throne ought to be hanged." At 
Vienna, however, great advantage was expected from such 
acknowledgment. Aware of this feeling, Frederick had 
himself and wife crowned King and Queen of Prussia, on 
January 18, 1701. Said Frederick the Great, in writing of 
this step : " In eflfect, my grandfather declared to his suc- 
cessors, by this act, * I have attained a title for you ; show 
yourselves worthy of it. I have laid the foundation of 
your greatness ; you must finish the work.'" This new 
King endeavored to imitate the Court of Louis XIV. of 
France. He laid out Berlin upon a grand scale ; built an 
arsenal, a royal palace in Berlin and another at Charlot- 
tenburg, which was named for his wife, Sophie Charlotte 
of Hanover. He founded the University of Halle, built 
asylums for orphans, academies of science and medical 
colleges, to further education. He carried out his father's 
policy in protecting religious freedom and strengthening 
the military arm of his power. 

Unlike his predecessor Electors of Brandenburg, ne was 


not an economizing mier, and at his death, a. d. 1713, the 
finances of his kingdom were found to be much the reverse 
of prosperous. 

His son and successor, Frederick William I., however, 
followed in the footsteps of his thriving Hohenzollern 
ancestors. He was averse to evcrytliing French in the 
administration of his kingdom. In every department he 
practiced the most rigid economy. He endeavored, with 
the narrow views of the age, to wall his people in. He 
prohibited their wearing cloth not woven at home, set- 
ting the example with his own family. He established an 
informal evening gathering of his friends and advisers, 
where each smoked to his heart's content; these meetings 
became famous as the " Tobacco Parliament." He was 
a furious-tempered man. He seemed at times wholly 
devoted to his "blue children" — a name he gave to his 
army. The quaint character of the instructor in tactics 
and discipline of the army, " Old Dessauer," has furnished 
many a German author with the ideal tjrpe of a martinet. 
Frederick William is best known to the public, however, 
as the Prussian King who had a monomania for stalwart 
soldiers. Wherever a giant was found throughout the 
wide world he was forced or hired to join Frederick Will- 
iam of Prussia's "Royal Guard of Grenadiers" ; and if a 
giantess was discovered she was forthwith approached and 
persuaded to marry her equal in size out of the Guards, in 
order that the race of powerful soldiers might go on 
increasing to the King's great joy. 

Frederick William's wife was Sophia Dorothea, a Han- 
overian, and sister to George II. of England. She bore 
the King ten children, the eldest of this ancient number 
being Frederick, afterwards known as "Frederick the 


During Frederick William I.'s reign of twenty-seven 
years, he engaged in but two wars; the first against 
Charles XII. of Sweden, the other in the settlement of 
the Polish Succession. Before setting out for one of these 
wars, it is said he turned to his privy council and exclaimed 
wittily: "As I am a man, and may therefore die of a shot, 
I command you to take good care of Fritz (Frederick the 
Great) ; and I give all of you my wife to begin with. My 
curse, if you do not bury me at Potsdam in the church 
there, without feasting and without ceremony." 

He left his son six miUions in the treasury, and an 
army of seventy-two thousand well equipped and disci- 
plined men. He died a. d. 1740. 

About lYOO A. D., or at the beginning of Frederick 
William's reign, Germany had reached the extreme point 
of disintegration. There was no more Empire but num- 
berless small states, in all three hundred and fourteen, and 
fourteen hundred and seventy -five small territories. 
Each of these districts was practically independent, and 
"it was only in the use of a common language, and 
in the production and enjoyment of a common liter- 
ature, that the Germans preserved, in any sense, the 
semblance of national or race unity." Some authors 
claim that the spirit of freedom was almost extinct at this 
time among the Germans. To the contrary, the people 
had more individual liberty; less war gave them more 
time for studious thought and individual progress. In 
this century began the greatest period of intellectual 
activity before or since known in Germany. 

Frederick II. of Prussia ascended the throne a. d. 
1740, at the age of twenty-eight. The biographer of the 
great Montesquieu, in speaking of that statesman's travels 




in foreign lands, said: " Montesquieu did not go to Ger- 
many beoauae then Frederick the Great had not reigned." 
It may in truth be said that the early Germans had their 
Arminius, the Goths their Theodorick, the Merovingians 
their Clovis, the Carlovingians their Charlemagne, the 
Franconians their Henry IV., the Hohenstaufens their 
' Frederick Barbarossa, the Hapsburgs their Charles V., 
/ and the HohenzoUems their Frederick the Great. 

This prince in his youth showed none of the warlike 
characteristics which had distinguished the lives of his 
three preceding ancestors. He was of modest and retiring 
disposition, with a marked tendency towards scholastic 
pursuits. Placed under the instruction of French professors, 
" he never had a mother tongue," says Macaulay, " owing 
to which deficiency the world lost one of its best authors." 
Having been forbidden by his father to study the ancient 
languages, and consequently unfamiliar with the writings 
of the Greeks and Bomans, he found in the caustic, criti- 
cal and intelligent works of Voltaire his highest gratifica- 
tion. Buled during his time by a despotic father, in his 
youth the unhappy prince attempted to escape to England, 
and seek the protection of his uncle, the King of England ; 
but being caught, he was taken to the fortress of Eustrin, 
where he was forced to witness the shooting of his youth- 
ful friend. Lieutenant Katt, who had aided him in his 
flight. It has been affirmed, but with little show of authen- 
ticity, that but for the interference of the principal 
sovereigns of Europe, Frederick himself would have been 
shot as a deserter. His eminently military father was, 
no doubt, disappointed at the effeminate and eiTatic 
fancies of Prussia's future king. Persecution seemed, 
therefore, the father's duty. That his determination to 


make Frederick a soldier is clear from the celebrated mes- 
sage he had conveyed to him, to-wit : " That if he would 
renounce his claim to the throne, he could study, travel, or 
do whatever he pleased." To this stern proposition, the 
prince returned the characteristic reply: " I will accept 
my father's ultimatum, in case he will declare I am no 
longer his son." 

This, it seems, his father was not prepared to do. 

Those, however, who had believed the prince a 
dreamer before his elevation to tlie throne, were made to 
see their mistake soon after his father's death. The rise 
of Prussia to a first-class power required an extension of 
her domains. The same year, believing himself called 
upon to show his mettle, and believing himself also 
fully competent to the task of carrying out the 
designs of his ancestors, Frederick set his splendid army 
in motion toward Silesia^ a province of Austria. Through 
the " Pragmatic Sanction," Maria Theresa had ascended 
the throne of Austria. This appeared to Frederick a 
favorable moment to renew an old claim the Hohenzol- 
lerns had to the Duchies of Glogau and Segan, as well as 
the greater part of Silesia. The claim being rejected, 
Frederick soon succeeded in taking several outlying 
districts of Silesia. But the following spring the Austrian 
Field-Marshal Neuperg, who had been sent against Fred- 
erick, came very near bringing the adventurous expedition 
of the young King, as well as his martial career, to an in- 
glorious end. 

In the spring of 1741, the Prussian general, the Prince 
of Dessau, captured the fortress of Ologau, and a month 
later, the main bodies of the Prussian and Austrian armies 
met at Molwitz. The battle raged hotly all the afternoon. 



Toward nightfall, the right wing of the Pmssians being 
thrown into confusion and sev^eral batteries captured, 
Frederick became demoralized, not taking his baptism of 
blood with the usual Hohenzollern wplomh. With a few 
followers, leaving the army in charge of Field-Mai*slial 
Schwerin, the young King galloped to the rear, hoping to 
find safe refuge in the small town of Oppeln, which he 
supposed to be still occupied by a detachment of Prussians. 
But the place had been taken, and the first information 
received to that effect by the flying King, was a sudden 
explosion of musketry at his approach. Narrowly escaping 
being taken prisoner, he hurried away to the village of 
Loewen, where he anxiously awaited news of the fate of 
his army. 

On the following day, he Vas made happy with the 
information that General Schwerin, followed by the Aus- 
trian field-marshal, had been able by an unobserved move- 
ment, to throw his main force upon the enemy's flank, and, 
by a well-sustained fire of infantry and artillery, to throw 
the Austrian forces into confusion. Following up his 
success with his cavalry, Schwerin achieved a complete 

This fortunate turn in his affairs gave the impetus to 
Frederick's future brilliant career. The eyes of Europe 
were at once turned upon the young King. If ever the say- 
ing " that success is the test of merit " had an application, 
it was in this instance. Had not Field-Marshal Schwerin 
thus promptly and gallantly turned the tide of battle, or, 
had he been influenced by the demoralization of his King, 
the world would never have heard of Frederick the Greats 
but, taking advantage of his discomfiture, would have 
handed him down to posterity as Frederick the Cowa/rd 


The momentous consequences of a Prussian defeat on this 
occasion seem to have been realized by Field-Marshal 
Sohwerin. The battle gave to Frederick temporarily the 
province of Silesia, but it was the signal for a general 
European war, which is knowii in history as " The Aus- 
trian War of Succession." Both France and Bavaria 
became the allies of Austria — ^a friendliness which had not 
existed for three hundred years between the former — and 
Austria was thus revived. Frederick having gained a 
second victory over the Austrians in the spring of 1742, at 
Chotusitz, Maria Theresa concluded a treaty of peace with 
him by which Silesia and the county of Geatz were defi- 
nitely ceded to Prussia. This peace was obtained by Maria 
Theresa in order to secure the vote of Frederick towards 
securing for her husband, Francis of Lorraine, the election 
of Emperor of Germany. 

Availing himself of the few years peace that followed 
to reorganize and strengthen his army, Frederick, in 1744, 
becoming uneasy at the repeated victories of the Austrians 
over the French and Bavarians, at the head of thirty thou- 
sand men, marched into Bohemia and took Prague. The 
Duke.of Lorraine meeting him, other battles were fought, 
the Prussians always victorious. But Frederick now 
retreated into Silesia, when Maria Theresa, thinking this 
an opportune moment to repossess herself of Silesia, sent 
troops into the country and seized several fortresses. 
Frederick, at this activity of the Empress, made a sudden 
attack upon the Duke of Lorraine (Maria Theresa's pet 
general and a brother-in-law) and defeated him at Hohen- 
friedberg. Silesia was quickly evacuated by the Austrians. 
The Duke, however, returned the next year with forty 
thousand men, while Frederick could oppose him with but 


eighteen thousand. After a hard-contested battle the 
Prussians gained the victory. The same year Frederick 
defeated the united forces of the Austrians and Saxons, 
who were preparing to advance upon Berlin, by entering 
the capital of Saxony with his triumphant army. Silesia 
was again ceded to him. By this time Prussia had assumed 
imposing proportions ; her population had doubled, and 
Frederick now seemed to hold the destinies of Germany in 
his hand. 

During the peace which followed, lasting eleven years, 
Frederick advanced in many ways. Keeping a steady eye 
upon the efficiency of his army, he lost no opportunity to 
develop a love of learning, the sciences and arts, and to 
foster manufactures and agriculture among the people. 
His great and worthy aims were to inaugurate a thorough 
system of popular education, the abrogation of obsolete 
and inhuman laws, and the enactment of others more in 
harmony with the progressive spirit of the age. It was 
during this period that he wrote his " Memoirs pour Servir 
BHistovre de Bromdeburg^^ and a poem, '^ L^Art de 

But while devoting his energies to the advancement of 
his subjects, a conspiracy was started on foot between the 
ruling princes of Saxony and Bavaria, the Empress of Aus- 
tria and Elizabeth of Russia — Peter the Great's grand- 
daughter — the Kings of France and Sweden, to dismem- 
ber the Prussian kingdom and divide the spoils among 
themselves. Frederick, with a population of about five 
million souls, was about to be attacked by a combination 
of sovereigns ruling over more than one hundred millions 
of people. But the humiliating phase of the situation was 
that three of the principal German States were conspiring 


•c . 

s g 

18 3 

Mo H 

J i 
5 I 



with foreign potentates — among them the hereditary foe 
of Germany, France — for the destruction of the fourth 
and most thoroughly Gennan kingdom of them all. But 
it was only an exhibition of the German characteristics, 
envy and jealousy, upon a large scale. The Crown-Prince 
of Bussia, Peter III., however, proved himself a friend in 
need, and gave Frederick timely warning that the attack 
was to be made the following spring. Thereupon the 
Prussian King resolved to strike the first blow. Securing 
an alliance with England he hurriedly entered Saxony, 
September 30, 1756, with an army of seventy thousand 
men, seized the state paper in Dresden containing the full 
stipulations of the conspiracy and published it to the world. 
This had the effect of bringing public opinion to his side, 
with missives of warm and immediate sympathy. The 
first encounter at Lowositz, in October of the same year, 
inaugurated Frederick's " Seven Tears' War." Saxony's 
army surrendered a little later on, reducing the country to 
a quasi- Prussian province. 

This unexpected and favorable turn Frederick had 
made, had the effect of spurring on the allied powers to 
more energetic measures. Austria sent forward all her 
available troops. Bussia furnished a hundred thousand 
men, Sweden, France, and the German smaller states 
rushed forward large armies, until not less than half a 
million of men were under marching orders, determined 
to annihilate Prussia's King and divide Prussia. Fred- 
erick's only hope of escape was by prompt and decisive 
action. To meet them by detachments and dispatch them 
by sections was soon decided upon. 

Dividing his army into four grand divisions, he plunged 
into Bohemia, captured the enemies' supplies, and on the 


6th of May his united forces reached Prague. During the 
battle which followed the brave, old Field-Marshal 
Schwerin again saved the day, but at the sacrifice of his 
own noble life. The victory was complete, the Austrians 
fleeing in all directions. 

Frederick's hold upon Bohemia, however, only lasted 
six weeks at this time, for in a second battle at Kollin the 
following June, he was defeated and forced to evacuate 
the country, and Saxony as well. In the meantime the 
French had invaded Prussian territorv, and the Eussians 
and Swedes were marching upon Berlin. Frederick 
decided to attack the French army first. Coming upon 
them at Rossbach, he defeated the French general-in-chief. 
Count Clermont, taking seven thousand prisoners. The 
English being much pleased at this success, forthwith fur- 
nished Frederick with more money and men. Turning 
now upon the Austrians, who were already in possession 
of Berlin, Schweidnitz and Breslau, with but thirty thou- 
sand men, he attacked an army of eighty thousand, killed 
and captured twenty-seven thousand prisoners, took one 
hundred and thirty guns, fifty standards, and four thou- 
sand wagons, etc. The following year he recaptured 
Schweidnitz, and with thirty-seven thousand troops de- 
feated sixty thousand Eussians at Zomdorf. This was the 
bitterest and bloodiest battle of the whole war. The cruel 
depredations by the Eussian Cossacks and barbarous 
Calmucks had so exasperated Frederick that he issued an 
order before the battle begun to give " no quarter." Con- 
sequently the slaughter was almost unparalleled. The 
Eussians having had enough of Frederick's skill and de- 
termination for a season, returned from Prussian terri- 
tory. Frederick was now at liberty to pay his undivided 


attention to Saxony. But, as in peace and war, few men 
are blessed with perennial success, the King now met 
with a series of reverses. On October 14, 1768, he was 
surprised and beaten at Hoch-Kirch; but reuniting his 
forces he retook Dresden from the Austrians; the year 
1759 also opened unfavorably for the Prussians. The 
Russians again appeared at the frontier with overwhelm- 
ing numbers, and defeated the Prussians near the Oder 
and nearly annihilated them. Dresden fell into the hands 
of the enemy with twelve thousand Prussian troops. Ber- 
lin was again taken by the Russians, and the greater part 
of Saxony had been lost by the battle of Torgon in 1760. 
Frederick's cause now seemed hopeless. But for the 
patriotism and devotion of his people, and the courage and 
ardor of his army, he would hardly have continued the 
struggle longer. But, like a tiger at bay, in this dire 
emergency, the Empress Elizabeth of Russia, happily for 
Frederick, was called hence. Peter III., his steadfast 
friend, upon ascending the Russian throne, forthwith with- 
drew from the coalition. The Prussians now turned to 
Austria, and throwing a force into Silesia, Frederick de- 
feated them at Burkersdorf amd at Freiberg. The last 
ally of the Austrians, the French, now withdrew, leaving 
this power to cope with Prussia single handed. At this 
juncture in her affairs, Maria Theresa thought it wise to 
make peace with Frederick upon as favorable terms as 
possible. The treaty was signed February, 1763, and 
Prussia was left in sole possession of Silesia. Thus ended 
a struggle which stands single of its kind in the annals of 
war. For eight years Frederick had been absent from his 
capital, and the reception given him by a grateful people 
on his return, can well be imagined. 


And yet, after this great expenditure of men and 
money, historians say Prussia did not owe a doUar, but, 
sad to relate, its population had diminished by one-tenth. 
For the remaining twenty-three years of Frederick's 
reign, he devoted himself to the recuperation of his peo- 
ple's interests. He practiced the most rigid economy in 
the government as well as his individual ex|>enses. It is 
said, for twenty-three years, he ordered but one fine suit 
of clothes. He worked twenty hours out of the twenty- 
four. Perfect order reigned throughout Prussia; prop- 
erty was secure, and speech and the press were free. Be- 
ing lampooned one day, a friend brought the fact to his 
notice. "Oh!'' said Frederick, "my people and I under- 
stand each other ; they aay what they like, and I dx> what 
I like. This was the secret of his government ; he did 
what he liked, and as he only liked to do what was the 
best for his subjects, his government was eminently suc- 
cessful. His ideas of his responsibility in the stewardship 
of the aflPairs of the throne of Prussia, are sound, and 
appear original for that day. Said he, "We kings are 
merely the stewards appointed for the administration of 
the general fund ; and if, as such, we were to apply to our 
own personal expenditure more than is reasonably neces- 
sary, we should, by such proceeding, not only bring down 
upon ourselves severe condemnation, in the first place, for 
extravagance, but likewise for having fraudulently taken 
possession of that which was confided to our charge for 
the public weal." 

There is no doubt but that the literary turn of Freder- 
ick's mind was the result of the great intellectual awaken- 
ing which was beginning to be felt throughout France and 
Germany. The French authors, many of them belonging 


to the school of the " Economists," were poets, philosophers 
and statesmen, represented by such men as Montesquieu, 
Racine, Voltaire and Rousseau. The rising German 
authors, but of a different school, were Lessing, Klopstock 
and Goethe, and were soon followed by Kant, Fichte, Ja- 
cobi and Schiller. Frederick the Great, having been much 
impressed with the writings of Montesquieu in his youth, 
antl, later, with Voltaire's works, during a visit down the 
Rhine, he invited the author, who was at Brussels, to pay 
him a visit. Voltaire accepted, and in 1750 took up his 
residence at the palace in Potsdam. Frederick the Great 
held an exalted opinion of the French philosopher's 
genius, and the two men had a very pleasant time 
together as long as the King extolled the author's 
verees with indiscriminate praise, but the time came 
when Frederick seemed to enjoy teasing rather than 
praising Voltaire. The writer Muehler is authority for 
the following incident, which goes far to show some of the 
reasons why the two former friends parted in coldness, 
which coldness in after years increased to bitter hatred. 

" Upon one occasion," says he, " an Englishman 
appeared at the Prussian Court, possessed of so extraord- 
inary a memory that, after a hundred pages of any work 
had been read to him, he declared he could forthwith 
repeat the whole, word for word. Frederick was much 
impressed with this gift of memory, and putting it to test 
one evening, found by the result a confirmation of the 
man's claim. Just as he was upon the point of dismissing 
the Englishman, Voltaire sent to inquire if His Majesty 
had half an hour's leisure in which to listen to a poem he 
had just completed ? Frederick, struck with the apropos 
inquiry, felt very much inclined to play a joke upon Vol- 


taire, and sent an affinnative reply. He now requested 
the Englishman to secret himself behind a screen, with the 
adjuration to treasure up every word he should hear. 
The great poet entered and read through the whole of his 
verses with great declamation and evident self-satisfaction. 
The King listened with coolness, and then said : 'Why, I 
must candidly confess, my dear Voltaire, that it looks to me 
as though you were claiming for your own what belongs 
to others. I have noticed this more than once before.' 

''Voltaire's indignation at being thought a plagiarist, 
gave to his countenance an expression — always a subject 
for caricaturists — of extreme harshness and bitterness. He 
was mortally offended, and assured the King he had been 
misled by a treacherous memory, and was acting witli 
great injustice toward him. The King replied, indiffer- 
ently : ' But, if I prove to you that your verses are already 
known by a stranger at my .court, what then?' "All 
that your Majesty may bring forward, all assurances are 
to me mere empty words, for I can disprove aU and every- 
thing ! ' replied Voltaire, warmly. 

" Upon this the King ordered the Englishman to be in- 
troduced from the next room. Thereupon he was com- 
manded to recite the verses, and without a moment's hesi- 
tation gave Voltaire's poem verbatim et literatim. Half 
mad with astonishment and rage, the poet rose from his 
seat, exclaiming, " Heaven! destroy with thy thunderbolt 
this robber of my verses! What magic is this which is 
being conjured up to drive me to desperation ?' and rushed 
from the King's presence in a towering passion. Frederick, 
however, enjoyed Voltaire's mystification immensely." 

The dinnei's of Frederick the Great were the occasions 
of his day, pour faire rire^ and for unrestrained satire, 


discussion and repartee. Surrounoed by genial spirits 
called the " illuminati," the festivities of the table were 
often carried far into the night. The King also had 
organized an orchestra at whose concerts he himself often 
performed an air upon the flute. A characteristic anecdote 
is told of his skill in playing this instrument, as w.ell as 
his keen enjoyment of quaint surroundings and unusual 

" In the course of a journey once made to Holland^ 
quite incognitOy he arrived at a small tavern in Amsterdam 
and gave himself out as a musician. The town being 
celebrated for a certain rich cake, the King thought he 
would like to taste one, and ordered his aide-de-camp to 
procure it of the landlady. The Colonel obeyed, but the 
landlady, measuring the messenger from top to toe, and a 
little suspicious of her plainly dressed guests, exclaimed : 
*Oh, yes, it is all very well for you to order a cake, but 
pray, sir, can you pay for it after it is made ? Do you 
not know that such a cake as you order will cost more than 
seven guilders ? ' 

" To this the Colonel, much amused, replied, that the 
gentleman with whom he traveled was very rich ; that he 
played the flute so beautifully, whenever he performed in 
public a considerable sum was collected in a very short 
time. 'Indeed!' cried the landlady, 'if that be so, then 
I must hear him immediately.' Saying which, she hurried 
on to the King's chamber, and entering without ceremony, 
courtesied, and said : ' I understand, sir, you play a tunc 
very well on the flute ; oblige me by warbling something 
for me to hear.' At first Frederick did not comprehend 
the situation, but was soon informed by the Colonel in 
French, upon which he seized his flute from the table and 


played with so much spirit and in such a masterly style 
that the landlady was carried away with enthusiasm, and 
exclaimed : ' Excellent ! excellent I you do, indeed, play 
sweetly, and I dare say, you earn many a guilder ; at any 
rate, you shall have your cake,' and hurried away to ful- 
fill her promise." 
L^ A recent work published in Germany, entitled " Fred- 
^^ erick the Great's Influence on German Literature," by 
Professor Suphan, has many interesting facts concerning 
the writings left by Frederick II. In speaking of the rise 
of letters in Germany, he says, in substance : 

The last half of the eighteenth century in Germany 
must be designated as the era of Frederick the Great and 
Goethe. For the first time in the literary history of two 
thousand years we have a great literary epoch for which 
the name of the greatest contemporay ruler is an inade- 
quate description. The names of Augustus, Charlemagne, 
Elizabeth, Louis XIV., call up each a complete notion of 
the period in which they lived, and of the production, 
artistic, literary, political, industrial, and economical, that 
went on about them. The name of Frederick the Great, 
however, associates itself only with an age of martial 
heroism and brilliant victory; of vigorous economic ad- 
ministration, the establishment of Prussian prestige, and 
the deepening of the national self-respect. Ilis name does 
not suggest that the years of his famous successes were 
also the years when German literature was ripening to ma- 
turity, and the first fruits had already fallen. Goethe! — 
and all the productions in the fields of art, poetry, philos- 
ophy and science through a half century of earnest effort 
and brilliant achievement, are recalled in association with 
that name. The sum of the last half of the preceding 


century amounts to Frederick the Great and Goethe. Les- 
sing, \yith all his admiration for the Prussian King, denies 
him every claim to thanks at the hands of German litera- 
ture, but adds : " I should not be willing to sweiir that a 
flatterer may not one day come who will think well of 
calling the present era of German literature the era of 
Frederick the Great." 

In 1766 the poet Herder wrote a dissertation upon Ger- 
man literature, in which the views and aims expressed in 
1780 by Frederick the Great essentially coincide. Though 
the one seeks his standards of taste in England and the 
other in France, both are conscious of the feebleness of 
German literature; both are striving towards a funda- 
mental bettering of its condition ; both recognize that to this 
end the language must first be perfected; both insist upon 
a study of the classics and demand careful translations, 
not imitations; both see the day of attainment coming ; 
both think it still afar off; but both are laboring unrest- 
ingly in earnest towards the same goal. Frederick prophe- 
sies the time ''when the German language, polished 
and perfected, will be taught in the schools of France and 
the fame of its literature be spread from one end of 
Europe to the other. " The days are not yet come, but 
they are nearing. I announce them to you ; they will ap- 
pear; I shall not see them; my age forbids roe to hope it. 
I am like Moses. I see the promised land in the distance, 
but I shall not enter it." He was already across the Jor- 
dan, and knew it not. 

Frederick is constructive, and takes hold of his subject 
with a firm, practical grasp. He seeks the way to im- 
provement, and looks confidently into the future, with 
prophetic visions that have been most brilliantly realized. 


He lays great weight upon the study of the ancient lan- 
guages and literature ; points out the necessity of good 
translations in lieu of feeble imitations. The importance 
of purifying and perfecting the German language is espe- 
cially emphasized. In consequence of the numerous and 
deeply-rooted dialects in Germany, the establishment of 
an academy to the decisions of which absolute submission 
be required seemed unavoidably demanded. 

To Frederick the impossibility of a national literature 
in an imperfect tongue was clear. His suggestions for 
rendering the language euphonious, to point out the way, 
excite discussion, and rouse the talent and learning of tlie 
land to earnest efforts in rendering possible and eventually 
creating a German national literature, worthy of a place 
among the greatest of the world, were of incalculable 
value to writers that followed him. 

But the relation of Frederick the Great to German 
literature was of a far more intimate nature than his 
writings or his direct efforts in its behalf would indicate. 
Patronage and direct encouragement was not Frederick's 
affair. It was Voltaire who enjoyed the hospitality of 
the Prussian Court, and what of German literarv talent 
gathered there was obliged to lay aside native barbarism 
and become French. But Frederick's influence was more 
effective xind far-reaching than patronage and protection; 
it lay in the inspiration furnished by a great personality 
at the head of affairs. The sound of vigorous martial 
preparation in Berlin, armaments and marching troops, 
was the signal that the new period had come. Rossbach 
was won, the French power checked, Europe astonished, 
every pulse was quickened. Through seven years the 
career of the hero was watched with increasing wonder. 


enthusiasm and hope. Of a sadden the man was there 
who gave energy to a century that had slept. The time 
had "contents" all at once; the spirit was roused, the 
imagination kindled, the national consciousness deepened. 
Every period of great literary production has been one of 
thrilling activity, in which the strength, greatness and 
heroism of the people have found expression. This 
element of inspiration, national pride and consciousness 
of power, was furnished Germany by the life of Frederick 
the Great. " He gave German poetry life and substance 
{leh&)i8inhaU)j^ says Goethe in his Autobiography. Being 
without an heir, he having never lived with the wife 
provided him by his father, Frederick felt some appre- 
hension for the welfare of his kingdom after his death. 
One of his last public acts, therefore, was to eflfect an 
alliance, or form a league, as a check against Austrian 
aggression. The estates joining were, Pi-ussia, Saxony, 
Hanover, the Dukes of Brunswick, Mecklenburg, and 
Deux-Ponts, the Landgraves of Hesse, the Elector of 
Mentz, and several other princes. This league proved of 
no advantage to Germany, as, after Frederick's death, the 
princes, dukes, etc., returned to their hereditary territorial^' 
claims. ^ 

Frederick the Great died on the 17th of August, 1786, 
at the age of seventy -four, just before the breaking out of 
the French Revolution. He was buried under the pulpit 
of the Garrison Church at Potsdam. He was called a 
Free Thinker, but he proved to be a Great Thinker, and a 
Greater Sovereign. Admiring Washington, he sent his 
sword to the first President of the Republic with this 
message : " From the oldest general in the world to the 


Through Frederick the Great's careful and paternal 
management of Prussian affair's, he was enabled to leave 
in the treasury, at his death, a surplus of fifty million dol- 
lars, an army of two hundred and twenty thousand men, 
a territory of ninety-five thousand square miles, and an 
intelligent, industrious population of six million souls. 

Frederick William II., the nephew of Frederick the 
Great, was crowned King of Prussia in 1786. After 
his selection as Frederick's heir, he was treated by his 
uncle somewhat austerely, exposed to all the privations 
and dangers of the " Seven Years' War," and most 
strictly disciplined in all the duties of his expected office. 
It is said this prince, during the peaceful years of his 
uncle's reign, enjoyed little of life; but, if what is told 
is half true of him, he made ample amends for it after- 
wards. No act of great importance marked his rule, ex- 
cept the troops he furnished to aid in the restoration of 
the Protestant party in the Netherlands, his coalition with 
Austria against France, which, however, did not redound 
greatly to the military glory of Prussia, and his participa- 
tion in the second and third dismemberment of unfortu- 
nate Poland, but he finished and adopted the code of 
laws prepared by Frederick the Great. Dying in 1797, he 
was succeeded by his son, Frederick William III., father 
of the late Emperor of Germany. As the lives of father 
and son are inextricably interwoven, for further historical 
information of the reign of Frederick William III. the 
reader is referred to the first chapter of the following 
biography of Emperor William I. of Germany. 



THE realization of Frederick the Great's fond dream, 
that at no distant day the German-speaking people 
in the heart of Europe would be peaceably united under 
HohenzoUern sway, seemed never more remote than on 
the 22d day of March, 1797, the date of the birth of 
Emperor William. Brought upon the stage of action 
at the age of twenty-seven, and at a period of general 
uneasiness throughout Europe, Frederick William III. 
(the Emperor's father) in one respect found himself 
prepared for his elevation. His early acquired love of 
order, discipline, economy and industry were qualities of 
which the King of Prussia in 1797, stood much in need. 
He set about immediately to reform the Court of his 
father, abrogated his unpopular edicts against the freedom 
of the press and religious instruction, and began his reign 
in an earnest and exemplary manner. His marriage, at 
the age of twenty-three, to the most beautiful and accom- 
plished princess of Europe, Louisa Mecklenburg-Strelitz, 
furnished the Germans with the first instance, for many 
years, of a happy union in the royal family. The fond 
couple retired to a country residence at Practz near the 
river Hard, where they led the livjes of modest country 
people for several years. Here was passed the infancy of 
William and his brothers, both father and mother care- 
fully watching over their physical growth, as well as men- 
tal advancement. To the young Queen, whom the old 
King, her father-in-law, called "the princess of princesses," 



was ascribed all the noble and charming qualities idolized 
in German womanhood. She was said to be Id/dschon 
(picture beautiful), with a heart as pure and tender as her 
appearance was lovely and attractive. Many stories are 
told of the visits made by this young couple to the hum- 
ble homes of the peasants in the neighborhood, of the 
interest taken in their aflfairs, from which friendly con- 
cern originated the King's rustic title, ^^Der Schulze von 
Practz^^ (the justice of Practz). 

An incident, which greatly increased his popularity 
while in Practz, was that in which he severely reprimanded 
an oiBcer of his staff for conduct unbecoming a gentleman 
and a soldier toward the Burger-Stand. Said the King to 
the offender : "It is the people and not the ruler that fur- 
nishes the means for the maintenance of the army." This 
sentiment, so openly expressed, touched the hearts of 
those who had been accustomed to consider themselves 
" boasts of burden for the support of the state.*' It was 
a just acknowledgment of their relations to society and 
the government. But this idyllic life,however congenial to 
the j^oung King and Queen was not without its evil con- 
sequences to Prussia. His almost total isolation from 
the world had the effect of inci'easing his natural diffi- 
dence. He was needed at the seat of government. 
Prussia was nearing the most critical period of her politi- 
tical existence. The great social upheaval was pJready in 
progress in France. Prussia's ship of state needed a man 
of sterling qualities, a warrior, a statesman and a diplo- 
mat at its helm, and still the King remained in the bosom 
of his family at Practz, his life a prolonged honeymoon ; 
but a glance at the attractive face and a knowledge of the 
winning character of his young Queen doubtless absolved 


him from the severe censure of his people. In these few 
years of happiness the King lived his short domestic life. 
While in its enjoyment, may he not have had premoni- 
tions of its brevity? It was under the watchful eye of 
these conscientious parents that Prince William passed 
his youth. In such a home he received life's early impres- 
sions. It would be natural to suppose that a child thus 
carefully and tenderly nurtured might be in danger of bo- 
coming a sentimentalist or averse to the duties that pre- 
pare men for an active military life; such was not the 
case, however. The home-law of the HohenzoUems, 
" that in time of peace to prepare for war," applied as 
well to the family as the army. Princesses of the blood 
were early handed over to the royal drill-master, who was 
expected to impress their plastic minds with that love of 
soldierly order and discipline so necessary to a country 
whose soil had been, and was upon the point of again 
being, the battle-ground of many a contending power and 
faction. Accordingly, the sons of Queen Louisa we find 
at Potsdam in 1803, the oldest, Frederick, eight, and Will- 
iam five, appearing for the first time in the uniform of a 
Hussar of the Guard, and at the same time being presented 
with the medals earned from their military instructor. 
The loving mother, however, to whom these infant sol- 
diers were first presented arrayed in the trappings of war, 
appeared apprehensive of the danger of giving her chil- 
dren a too strong military leaning, and later on wrote a 
letter to Professor Heidenreich of Leipsic, clearly showing 
that she had higher and nobler aspirations for the future 
of her sons than mere soldierly renown. 

" It is my dearest and most earnest desire," she said, 
" to bring up my children so that they may be humanely 


disposed, and I cherish the hope that I shall not altogether 
fail in my purpose." 

It was evidently beginning to be perceived all over 
Germany, that in order to maintain the local indepen- 
dence of her small principalities, kingdoms and states, 
better armies must be raised and better generals provided. 
The best officers of Frederick the Great had all grown 
old, and besides were wedded to ancient systems of war- 
fare. Says Lewis: "Although German hterature was at 
its zenith, and Berlin was one of the centers of its pro- 
ductiveness, with its fashionable vanity of display came, 
also, the vanity of social display. The Spartan spirit of 
Prussia's early days had given way to eflfeminacy, luxury 
and indifference to religious traditions. Much was done 
to advance the sciences, arts, and the education of the peo- 
ple, but the antiquated machine of the administration 
remained much as it had been left by Frederick I. of 
Prussia, and his grandson, Frederick the Great. The 
whole army was in the worst possible condition. With a 
population of about ten millions, Prussia maintained an 
army of 200,000 men, splendid to look at and drilled in 
the most pedantic and wearisome fashion on the field of 
exercise, but without experience in battle, and full of pride 
founded on the renown of Frederick the Great's Seven 
Years' War. Whatever natural merits the officers had 
were lost in the habits of the army in a long peace. The 
elder officers were generally rigid and formal ; the younger 
ones vain and presumptuous ; nearly all were puffed up 
with the fond fancy that their army was invincible." 
That this was far from being satisfactory to the people 
is seen by the establishment of new military schools and 
in the general expression of fear, that Germany would not 


be able to present a strong bulwark against the advance- 
ment of the "modern Attila of France, General Bona- 
parte." It was the uitellectual growth only in Germany, 
that had kept pace with the political agitation of France 
and the United States. Although Frederick William III. 
was constituted to enjoy a peaceful reign, his sympathetic 
and amiable disposition prompting him to a liberal and 
enlightened policy, yet, when the emergency appeared, 
it was found he had inherited enough of the old Hohen- 
zollern firmness, perseverance and personal courage, to 
see the needs of his country, and eventually ('tis true, after 
experiencing the most desperate straits, humiliations and 
defeats), to pilot her safely over the breakers that threat- 
ened to wreck her ship of state. 

Before the year 1805 Frederick William III. had tried 
for a long time to form a league of the German princes in 
order to protect the neutrality of Korth Germany ; but, 
through jealousy of Prussia's political supremacy, these 
princes chose to ally themselves to the cause of France. 

This was Prussia's situation after the peace of Luneville, 
concluded 1801, between the German Empire and France. 
In order to understand the situation of Prussia in this 
peace, it is necessary to review the momentous events pre- 
ceding the acceptance of this treaty by Prussia. 

From 1794 to 1796 the leaders of the French Eepublic 
had repulsed and beaten the Austrians, and from a defen- 
sive position had assumed an oflfensive one. The ancient 
claim of France, that all the territory on the left bank of 
Ehine belonged to them, was now openly urged. In 
order to secure these demands the Directory decided to 
invade Germany at once, and with an overwhelming force. 
The Generals Moreau, Jourdan and Bonaparte were 


charged with the execution of this project, each being 
placed in command of a formidable army. Jourd an com- 
manded the left wing, covering Franconia and the coun- 
tries along the lower Rhine ; Moreau, the center, including 
Baden, Wiirtemberg and Bavaria. Bonaparte held the 
right. This " little corporal," in less than twelve months, 
had defeated the Austrian s in fourteen battles ; demolished 
the small Duchies of Italy, and established upon their 
ruins the Cisalpine Republic. He compelled Austria to 
sign the peace of Campio Formio, by which was ceded the 
Netherlands to France, the renunciation of all claim by 
Austria to possessions in the north of Italy, and an agree- 
ment to summon a congress of all the German prmces at 
Rastadt, when the conditions of peace between France 
and Germany should be more firmly cemented. 

During this time the young Archduke Charles, of 
Austria, had successfully resisted General Jourdan's attack, 
defeating him at Neumark and Amberg, and finally suc- 
ceeded in driving him back across the Rhine. General 
Moreau's left was now exposed to the assaults of the vic- 
torious Austrians, which compelled him, also, to retreat, 
resulting in Moreau's famous march through Swabia and 
the mountainous roads of the Black Forest. These 
reverses of the French arms notwithstanding, the congress 
of princes assembled, as agreed upon, at Rastadt, and here 
was witnessed the betrayal of Germany's interest by a 
German Emperor, who entered into a private understand- 
ing with the enemy to cede to France the left bank of the 
Rhine, as originall}^ claimed by the Directory. 

The peace thus obtained, however, was of short dura- 
tion. At the beginning of the year 1799, Austria having 
joined the coalition for the overthrow of the French 


Republic, recalled her representatives at Eastadt, and 
France declared war against her for allowing Russian 
troops to pass over her territory. During the campaign 
that followed, the whole of Italy, which formerly belonged 
to Austria, was retaken with the aid of Russian troops, 
under command of General Suwaroflf, the Cisalpine 
Republic throttled, and the old order of things reestab- 

General Bonaparte, who had hastily returned from 
Egypt, took in the situation at a glance. He promptly 
offered terras of peace to the coalition, but Arch-Duke 
Charles' successes had inspired the allies with hopes of the 
speedy overthrow of the French Republic, and the reestab- 
lishment of the Bourbon dynasty. 

Bonaparte's overtures were unceremoniously rejected. 
This refusal and implied threat aroused the French, who 
hurried en inasae to enlist under the command of the young 
general, who declared, since a peace could not be had by 
fair means, he must conquer one with his means at hand. 
Accordingly, at the beginning of 1800, a formidable army 
had assembled at Dijon ready for action. Bonaparte's 
first advance was toward Italy. Marching over the 
Simplon, St. Bernard and St. Gothard, he made his entry 
into Milan June 2, 1800, before the Austrian General 
Melas, who was encamped on the plains of Lombardy, was 
aware of his presence. On the 14rth of the same month 
followed the memorable battle of Marengo, the bloodiest 
and fiercest of any that had yet been fought. The day 
appeared to be lost to the French, when General Dessaix, 
one of the bravest and oldest of the French generals, 
arrived with a fresh corps de reserve^ renewed the strug- 
gle and, although mortaUy wounded, achieved a brilliant 


victory for Bonaparte's division. In the meantime Gen- 
eral Moreau had been successful in Germany. In the 
latter part of April he crossed the Rhine, defeated the 
Austrians at Stockach and Moskirk, and took possession 
of the entire country between the Rhine, the Danube and 
Lake Constance. Entering the Bavarian territory he 
threatened Munich, and at Hohenlinden dealt another 
severe blow to Austria. These battles of the two French 
generals, Bonaparte and Moreau, decided affairs for the 
time being between Austria, Italy and France, but it was 
to the latter, Moreau, that tho French were indebted for 
the favorableness to France of the treaty of Luneville. 

By this treaty the ancient order of things in Germany 
was completely overturned. The ecclesiastics lost all their 
possessions, and of the forty-eight imperial independent 
cities only Liibeck, Hamburg, Bremen, Frankfort, Augs- 
burg and Nuremburg remained. Of the old electoral 
princes but four retained the semblance of their ancient 
prerogatives, while the domains of numberless small prince- 
lings were merged into the larger estates. Thus, were most 
of the prerogatives, which for a thousand years had been 
enjoyed through Germany's acquiescence in the rights 
guaranteed by the " Golden Bull," swept away by a stroke 
of the pen. These compulsory changes, ^however, while 
they occasioned many regrets and tears among the Ger- 
mans, who were still attached to their crowned princelings, 
were not witliout their beneficial results, and it is ques- 
tionable whether, but for the dexterous and expeditious 
I strides of the " Corsican Ogre " through the heart of Ger- 
/ many, the German Empire of to-day would have been a 
possibility. Germany would doubtless have acquiesced in 
the dethroning of her petty princes, but the loss of twenty- 


four thoosand square miles of territory with four million 
inhabitants — the whole left bank of the Rhine, compris- 
ing Alsace and Lorraine — was a blow at the very exist- 
ence of the German nation. The German princes, however, 
who had received additions to their territory by the treaty 
of Luneville, were Baden, Wurtemberg and Bavaria. 
They, of course, became ardent admirers of the French 
" Ogre," because he had shown himself their friend and 
benefactor. In their servility they introduced the French 
official system in the administration of their affairs of 
state and, finally, culminated their submission to French 
domination by severing their connection with the German 
Empire. As vassals of France, they entered into a con- 
federation called the Ehinish-bund, and agreed to furnish 
to the French army a contingent of so many thousand men 
each. To complete Germany's humiliation, the House of 
Hapsburg now voluntarily relinquished the title of Em- 
peror of Germany — a title that brought him a small salary 
(|5,000 a year), and but little more. After this date, 1806, 
the Hapsburg dynast}^ which had furnished Emperors for 
the German Empire since the crowning of Rudolph, 1273, 
were now satisfied with the title only of Emperors of 

Germany was now divided into three grand divisions : 
The Empire of Austria, the Kingdom of Prussia, and the 
Frenchified Princelings, called the " Rhine-bund." Bona- 
parte had resorted to the old Caesarian doctrine, " Divide 
and conquer." 

Southern Germany being safe and Austria isolated, 
Bonaparte considered the time opportune for paying his 
respects to Prussia. The vacillating policy of Frederick 
William, who had left Austria to fight her battles alone, 


by declaring Prussia neutral, was now to reap its legit- 
imate result. At the mercy of the now French Emperor 
(Napoleon I.), Prussia had not a friend to whom she could 
turn for assistance in time of need. Without the slightest 
warning, Napoleon issued a peremptory order to General 
Bernadotte, who, with his army corps was stationed in 
Hanover, to take the shortest route for Ulm. The shortest 
route lay through Prussian territory. This march was 
conducted with all the destruction of an armed invasion. 
Frederick William could no longer remain deaf to the 
entreaties of the Prussian war-party for an immediate 
demand for reparation and the placing of the army upon 
a war footing. But in the midst of Prussia's military 
preparations, and almost before her ultimatum to Napoleon 
had left the capital, came the news of the Russian and 
Austriani defeat at Austerlitz, whereupon Prussia with- 
drew her ultimatum, and the King put an end forthwith 
to further military preparations. Napoleon now retracted 
the promised annexation of Hanover to Prussia, and 
deprived her of the province of Anspach. He, also, com- 
pelled Frederick William to acknowledge the territorial 
acquisitions of France in Southern Germany ; all this dis- 
grace and humiliation of the King was accomplished by 
Napoleon without the firing of a shot. 

So, it came to pass, that a courageous and proud people, 
over whom Frederick the Great had ruled, but a few years 
before, and who, under the leadership of his master mind, 
had not only maintained the integrity of the Kingdom of 
Prussia against the combined armies of Europe, but had 
materially added to her territory, were brought to the 
feet of the French " Ogre," through the halting policy of 
one of hi3 descendants* 


Frederick William, foolishly hoping that his selfish and 
unpatriotic neutrality would allow him and Prussia to 
remain in the full enjoyment of peace, was rudely 
awakened to a realizing sense of his danger by Berna- 
dotte's bold execution of Napoleon's order. The truth 
was tiiat Napoleon had long been aware of the energy, 
bravery and patriotism of the Prussians, and was 
determined to destroy a power which might become the • 
rallying point and chief support of Germany's demand for 
independence. Napoleon felt himself strong enough for 
such an undertaking, well aware of Prussia's complete 

In December, 1803, Frederick William had bound him- 
self to peace and friendship with Napoleon on condition 
that Hanover should not be disposed of without the consent 
of Prussia. The pretense taken for arousing the King was 
the offer by Napoleon, after the death of Minister Pitt, 
to restore to England, his arch-enemy, the Duchy of Han- 
over. Frederick William now saw that he could no longer 
maintain his neutrality. His ministers, led by the patri- 
otic Stein, pressed him to prepare for the unavoidable. 
The younger officers of the army were anxious for active 
service. They even went so far and were so bold as to 
appear before the window of the French Embassador, to 
sharpen their swords and join in the chorus of Schiller's 
" Wallenstein," " Up, comrades, up ! to horse 1 to horse I" 

Frederick William, knowing the folly of attempting to 
meet Napoleon, whose army was now in Franconia, pre- 
paring for a march into Thuringia, and which numbered 
200,000 men, while Prussia had but 150,000, hesitated and 
anxiously sought to fortify himself by alliances. Saxony 
and Weimar at last joined him. Austria remained 


neutral, and Russia, had the Czar been disposed, was too far 
away to aid him. England was at war with Prussia. 
Finally, urged on by his ministers and indignant at the 
treatment he had received, on the 1st of October, 1806, he 
addressed his ultimatum to Napoleon, which was in effect 
that he withdraw all his troops, not only from the king- 
dom of Prussia, but from German territory also. 

At the outbreak of the disastrous war which thereupon 
followed, Prince William was just entering upon his tenth 
year. There is no doubt but that the known relentlessness 
of the French invader and his determination to destro}^ 
the heritage of the HohenzoUern family, as well as to de- 
grade the German people to a state of vassalage to France 
left an indelible impression upon his youthful mind. 

A small picture has been preserved in the royal resi- 
dence at Potsdam, representing the two sons of the King, 
accompanied by Professor Dell brttck, as they watched the 
departure of the troops for the front, but few of whom 
ever returned to tell the story of their defeat. 

Not ten days after Napoleon's receipt of Frederick 
"William's ultimatum, the Prussian army, under command 
of Duke Charles of Brunswick, then seventy-two years 
old, confidently marched to Weimar. Half the forces took 
up a position at Jena. Napoleon's army fell upon the 
Prussians at Saalfeld, near Weimar, and defeated the old 
Duke, who was slain in battle. Four days later Napoleon 
was at Jena. The morning was foggy, and the Prussians 
could not see the position of the French nor estimate their 
numbers. The French poured upon the Prussians from 
both sides of the plain, and a complete defeat of the Prus- 
sians under Prince Hohenlohe followed. They fled to 
Weimar in the wildest confusion. 


Thus, in less than a fortnight, was Prussia's militaiy 
power, which some of the old martinets had considered 
invincible, literally destroyed. Their forty years' peace 
had most effectually deprived the oflBcers of the old martial 
spirit so predominant in the army of Frederick the Great. 

Ten days after the battle of Jena, Napoleon marched 
into Berlin at the head of his victorious army, and in less 
than six weeks from the commencement of hostilities he 
had advanced as far as the Vistula, and made himself 
master of nearly the entire kingdom ; had annihilated an 
army which had hitherto claimed and maintained its 
character as the most efficient in Europe, and was now in 
possession of the capital of its King. 

Frederick William, forced to change his residence, 
went to Konigsberg, in Eastern Prussia. A few days 
after the disastrous battle of Jena, the royal children were 
transferred to Chateau Schwedt, where the Queen awaited 

" You find me in tears," she said, " because I weep 
over the destruction of the army, which, too true, has dis- 
appointed the King." Professor Dellbriick, in his memoirs, 
says, at this meeting, the afflicted Queen endeavored to 
impress upon her children the duty which lay before them 
jn the following impressive language : 

"In one day an edifice has been destroyed which will 
take great men two centuries to rebuild. Prussia, its 
army, and its traditional glory are things of the past. 
Ah, my children, you are not yet of that age when you 
can fuUy comprehend the great calamity that has befallen 
us ! But after my death, and when you recall this unfor- 
tunate hour, do not content yourselves with merely shed- 
ding tears. Actl Unite your powers I Perhaps the 


guardian angel of Prussia will watch over you. Liberawe 
your people from the disgrace and degradation they will 
have to endure. Conquer France, and retrieve the gloi-y 
of your ancestors as your great-grandfather did at Fehr^ 
bellin, when he defeated the Swedes. Be men, and strive 
to be great generals. If you have not that ambition, 
then seek death as Prince Louis Feixlinand souglit and 
found it." 

Under this depressing state of affairs in his father's 
kingdom, Prince William, at the age of ten, was made an 
officer in the Prussian army, after which the royal family 
were ordered to Memel, the far eastern frontier of the 

The health of the beautiful young Queen was now in 
a very precarious condition. The disaster to her husband 
and her beloved country had shattered her nervous sys- 
tem. " But I would rather die than fall into the hands of 
the enemy," she declared; and, accordingly, on the 8d of 
January, 1807, in a terrible snow-storm, she was placed in 
a carriage. And now began the long and tedious journey 
to a place of safety. Dr. Hufland, the court physician 
who accompanied her, says of this eventful journey : 

" We were three days and three nights on the road. 
During the day we forced our way through the frozen 
marshes, and often the waves of the near ocean covered 
the coach with its dashing spray. The nights were passed 
in the most miserable shambles. The first night the Queen 
slept in a room, the glass from two windows being out, 
which permitted the snow to sweep over her bed. Our 
food was poor and insufficient. These hardships, however, 
seemed to strengthen her courage. Her reliance upon a 
providential God was unshaken. The change of scene 


and the bracing air seemed to have a beneficial effect upon 
her health." 

Not so with the children. Prince William, who was 
not suspected of having, in his youth, the strong constitu- 
tion he proved to have, was attacked with a nervous fever 
and came near his death. To crown the Queen's melan- 
choly, the news reached her that on June 14 a decisive 
battle had been fought at Friedland, Eastern Prussia. 
Her courage and noble character is best shown in the fol- 
lowing letter written to her father, the Duke of Mecklen- 
burg-Strelitz, three days after this depressing news had 
reached her : 

"Memel, June lY, 1807. 

" My Dbakest Fathbb : I have perused your letter of 
April last with the deepest emotion and amid tears of 
gratefulness. How shall I thanlc you, dearest, kindest of 
fathers, for the many proofs you have shown me of your 
parental love, your gracious favor and indescribable benev- 
olence ? What consolation is not this for me in my suffer- 
ings ! How strengthening to my hopes ! Thus beloved, 
to be completely unhappy is impossible. 

" We are again threatened by another dire calamity, 
and are about to abandon the kingdom. Imagine my 
state of mind at this juncture ; but I earnestly beseech 
you not to mistake the feelings of your daughter. There 
are two great principles upholding me, which elevate my 
thoughts and strengthen me : first, that we are not led 
blindly on by chance, but are led by the hand of God ; 
and secondly, that if we must sink, we, at all events, must 
do so with honor. The King has shown, and the whole 
world believes it, that he prefers honor to disgrace. Prus- 
sia will never wear the chains of slavery. The King could 


not deviate a step without becoming unfaithful to his 
character and a traitor to his people. But to the point : 
By the unfortunate battle of Friedland, Konigsberg has 
fallen into the hands of the French. We are surrounded 
on every side by the enemy ; and, as the danger advances, 
I shall be forced to fly with my children from Memel, and 
then endeavor to reach Riga, trusting to Heaven to assist 
me in that dreaded moment when I must pass the frontier 
of the Empire. Truly, all my strength and courage will 
be required for this effort. God must be my hope and 
confidence ; for, according to my firm persuasion, we are 
not called upon to endure more than we can bear. 

" Once more, then, dear father, be assured that we yield 
only with honor ; and, respected as we shall be, we can not 
be without friends, inasmuch as we have merited them. 
The consolation I experience by this conviction I can not 
express to you ; and, consequently, I endure all my trials 
with that tranquility and resignation of mind which can 
only be produced by a good conscience and a firm faith. 
Therefore, my dear father, be convinced that we can never 
be really unhappy, while many, perhaps, whose brows 
are oppressed with the weight of crowns and wreaths are 
as unhappy as ourselves ; for as long as we are blessed by 
Heaven with peace within, we must ever find cause to 

" I remain, forever, your faithful and loving daughter 
and — God be praised that your gracious favor permits 
me to add — friend, " Louisa." 

After the decisive battle of Friedland, referred to by 
the Queen, which occurred on June 14, 1807, a conference 
was held June 25th, between the two Emperors, Napoleon 
and Alexander of Bussia, upon a raft on the river Niemen, 

Queen Loulw. 


at which interview it was agreed to leave Prussia to her 
fate, Alexander acquiescing in her dismemberment in con- 
sideration of Napoleon's agreement that he take Finland 
and divide Turkey when he should be ready. 

In the vain hope of inducing Napoleon to modify liis 
harah terms, a number of patriotic men prevailed upon the 
King of Prussia to allow the Queen to make a personal 
appeal to him. Consenting with great reluctance, Louisa 
appeared before Napoleon, at Tilsit, on July 7, who 
received her with condescension, but was unmoved by her 

On the 9th of July, Frederick William III. signed the 
Treaty of Tilsit, which made him almost a pauper. He 
was compelled to part with nearly half his kingdom and 
half his people — about five millions. The city of Dantzic 
was declared a free city, that part of Prussia between the 
Elbe and the Rhine was converted into a new kingdom 
called Westphalia, and Napoleon's youngest brother, 
Jerome, made King. All west of the Elbe, the cradle of 
the Prussian monarchy, all that territory acquired by his 
father in the partitions of Poland, was taken away from 
Prussia by this treaty. Napoleon declaring that it was 
only out of consideration for the wishes of his ally, Alex- 
ander of Russia, that he left Frederick William anything. 
By this treaty, what was left of Prussian territory was to 
be occupied by French troops until $109,500,000 indem- 
nity was paid to France, a task which was accomplished 
in two years. 

Those who suppose the sudden collapse of Prussia to 
be attributable to the deterioration and ineflBlciency of her 
army commit a great mistake. The cause of her weak- 
ness lay much deeper. With the introduction of French 

238 fiMPEtiOlt WtLLlAH t. 

literature was introduced tlie French standard of morals. 
The higher circles spoke French, dressed French, read 
French, and lived French lives. "We wish," writes a 
celebrated man at this time, " to protect our towns and 
territory from the attacks of the French ; but ourselves 
and our minds have been long captive to France. Look at 
our manners, language and dress ! We have become, so 
to speak, French inside and out, and yet we consider them 
our enemies. No man of sense will dispute the fact that 
when a people are thus enslaved, few will be found to 
stand up zealously for the defense of faith and fatherland." 
The great liberal divine, SQhleiermacher, wrote to a friend, 
" The universal dissipation one sees on all sides is frightful 
to behold, and the depth of biiseness and cowardice to 
which the people have sunk is only relieved by a few indi- 
viduals, the King and Queen forming striking exceptions." 

"Napoleon," says Alexander Japp, "had made the 
French a nation of fatalists, and not only the French but 
Germany too. Tasting the poison she, too, staggered like 
a drunken man." It was, then, easy to follow with French 
arms where French ideas had been received with so kindl}*^ 
a welcome. 

Impressed with this degeneracy, the first minds of 
Germany began to write, speak and act. The\' were called 
the " Romancists." The most conspicuous were Schiller, 
who died in 1806 ; the brothers Boisser6e, the brothers 
Schlegel, Tieck, Hardenberg (Novalis), Von Kleist, and 
Von Arnim — a class of writers, not without morbidness in 
their natures, but distinguished as interpreters of the 
impulses which moved men to noble deeds in mediaeval 


Accordingly, after the battle of Jena, the learned 


philosopher Fichte asked permission to join the army with 
his students and to strengthen the patriotic ardor of the 
troops by frequent exhortations. Scharnhorst asserted 
that battles could no longer be won by the military arm 
alone ; love of the citizen for country and freedom must 
be warmed into life; the moral principle of the soldier 
must be stimulated by making him a patriot instead of 
a mercenary and extinguishing his self-respect by degrad- 
ing punishment. 

Thus, from the day of the Treaty of Tilsit, Prussia 
seemed to be slowly realizing that a people with a past so 
glorious, a land so precious, and a patriotic King so humil- 
iated, called for heroic action rather than time spent in 
useless regrets. " We have lost battles, have been robbed 
of our territory and treated with less consideration than 
the smallest power in Europe," said one of these conquered 
but not subdued Prussians, "and if we but acknowledge 
our own errors and faults, and finally resolve to mend our 
ways, all hope in a better future is not lost." 

As there are supreme moments in the lives of nations 
as well as individuals, when a resolve to do. then and 
there what the inmost impulse of the heart declares to be 
fair and right, Prussia had reached that moment when, 
through Baron Stein, in 1808, she resolved to prepare her 
State for a Constitutional monarchy. The State could only 
be rescued by beginning to rebuild from the foundation. 
The peasantry, who were still the serfs of landlords, must 
be freed from bondage, and other exactions which op- 
pressed thenx must be removed. He should no longer be 
considered a part of the land, *• but could choose his own 
employment and look forward to the possession of apiece 
of land for himself." The city people, too, were to be 


released of guilds, severe police regulations removed, and 
the burden of supporting superannuated civil servants and 
invalid soldiers lessened; to the cities local government 
was to be restored, the delegates to be chosen from the 
citizens, the magistrates from the delegates, the burgo- 
master alone to be named out of three candidates pro- 
posed by the city ; the freedom of the trades must super- 
sede the tyranny of the guilds; in the country free mar- 
kets were to be allowed and the exclusive privilege of par- 
ticular mills to be abolished ; any tradesman with sufH. 
cient money could buy a baronial estate, and any nobleman 
was to be at liberty to trade; a share in the affairs of 
State were to be offered to the people. This was the 
moral revolution Stein was to inaugurate forthwith. It 
was in this frame of mind that the patriots of Prussia re- 
ceived the news of Napoleon's rejection of the request 
of the Queen, The King now rose to the grandeur of 
the occasion and, fortune aiding him with wise advisers, 
the work mapped out was earnestly begun. 

Napoleon was now in his greatest ascendency in 
Europe. All the German States, except Prussia and Aus- 
tria, had joined the Rhine League. Prussia had been so 
completely crushed that she was not even invited to join 
the Ehine League, had she been so disposed. In fact all of 
Europe except Great Britain was subject to the two great 
powers, France and Eussia. 

But it must be said of this military system, which had 
silenced iall opposition and played with the crowns and 
crownlets of Europe, that it was not without its civilizing 
features. The Code Napoleon^ with its recognition of 
the rights of the humblest citizen, the jury system, and 
other reforms calculated to benefit the masses, were intro- 


KSnigin Euife mil iljcen beibeti fllteften Sol^nen. (anno n97-) 
Queen Louise nith her two eoas In 1707. 


duced during this period into the States of the Rhine • 
League ; and although Napoleon's nepotism and unrelent- i 
ing exactions of money and men robbed these Germans to . 
an exasperating degree, upon the whole the condition of j 
the peasantry was greatly improved and his sovereignty I 
for a time was not felt to bo so great a misfortune by the j 
people of many of these States. ^ 

But unlimited imperial sway, the same as undue per- 
sonal power, generally prepares the way for its own destruc- 
tion. The arbitrary and heartless conduct of the French 
police and spies gradually caused a reaction in those who, 
at first, had been dazzled by the new order of things. 

The wanton murder of John Palm, for the publication 
in Leipsic of a pamphlet entitled " Germany in her Deep 
Humiliation," created a feeling of intense resentment 
against the foreign governments established in Germany 
by Napoleon. 

Baron von Stein, who was now Premier of Prussia, 
was ordered to proceed at once with his plans of internal 
reforms. With fervor and an iron will, he began his 
work. He commenced by limiting the power of the sov- 
ereign, which had heretofore been almost absolute, and 
increasing the liberty of the people. In fact, the whole 
list of reforms mentioned before were about to be carried 
into effect, when the liberalizing tendency of his adminis- 
tration and the almost instantaneous effect of his course 
upon the prosperity of Prussia, as well as upon the martial 
spirit of the people, were observed by Napoleon. Conse- 
quently, upon the pretext that Stein had spoken disrespect- 
fully of him, in November, 1808, Napoleon issued a pronun- 
ciamento " against a man by the name of Stein," upon 
which, being warned by the embassador at Paris, Prussia's 


prime minister was forced to flee the country, and the King 
to confiscate his estates. Baron von Hardenborg succeeded 
Stein, and carried out the pohcy inaugurated by hira. Von 
Scharnhorst, Secretary of War, ably assisted the new 
premier, adopting the principle that true merit, and not 
the accident of birth, must secure promotion in the army. 
He abolished the enlistment of foreigners, by which a 
national sentiment of pride was stimulated, and also 
insisted tliat in every organized society its able-bodied 
members should be its defenders — the origin of the present 
military system known as Landwehr. As a natural con- 
sequence, these political and military reforms gave a pow- 
erful impetus to the spread of nationalism. The much- 
lauded efforts of the men at the helm were soon seconded 
by the efforts of pen and song, and authors followed these 
statesmen and soldiers, with electrifying effect. 

One of the most appreciated of these was the patriot 
divine, Schleiermacher, who wrote : " We appreciate the 
culture of all nations, and would engraft in ourselves the 
flowers of every human mind. Egotism and national 
vanity are the two great enemies of progress. The noblest 
nations have been the most tolerant and the basest the 
most conceited." 

Other authors, besides those heretofore mentioned, who 
wrote and worked were Ilerder, Humboldt, Klopstock, Les- 
sing, Winkelmann, Kant, Weiland, Schelling, Hegel, and 
Goethe, who died as late as 1832. Their writings were 
suited to all grades of mind, from politician, poet, philos- 
opher, scholar and scientist, down to the awakening peas- 
antry and laborer. But Schleiermacher seems to have 
been the most honored divine and ethical instructor of the 


Through his preaching, the individual conscience was ^ 
awakened to a sense of duty. Honor and self-purification 
he held to be necessary to the substantial re-establish- 
ment of the Prussian nation. The sermons he preached 
produced a lasting effect upon the youthful mind of Prince 
William. His confession of faith, written by himself, on 
the occasion of his confirmation, which is in harmony with 
the honored divine's teachings, are proofs of the truth of 
this statement, although Schleiermacher is claimed as 
the founder of Unitarianism. 

The continued occupation of the Prussian capital by 
the French necessitated the prolonged sojourn of the 
royal family at Memel. It was at this out-of-the-way 
residence that Prince William, December 25, 1809, re- 
ceived his appointment as Second Lieutenant, and where, 
under the care of Herr Zellers, one of Pestalozzi's pupils, 
and Professor Neiman, the foundation of his education 
was laid. Under the guidance of these excellent men, the 
princes studied ancient and modem history, and among 
others, "The History of Brandenburg," written by his an- 
cestor, Frederick the Great, as well his history of " The 
Seven Years' War," and Schiller's " Thirty Years' War." 
At an early age, Prince William developed a strong mili- 
tary leaning, while his elder brother was attracted to 
other and more classical branches of learning. The prog- 
ress of Prince William in military tactics was so rapid 
that in less than two years after his appointment to office, 
he had mastered all the details of the Prussian infantry 
drill. In the winter of 1809, the King and Queen returned 
to Berlin. Among the troops composing the escort rode 
the young prince, then about twelve years old. The 
roysd exiles were welcomed by the people with enthusi- 


astio demonstrations of joy. In passing under the famous 
Brandenburg Gate, the King was deeply affected at behold- 
ing the vandalism of Napoleon, who had taken the bronze 
horses attached to a triumphal car and carried the trophy 
to Paris. 

Upon her return to Berlin, it was known Queen Louisa 
was fatally ill. The weight of her troubles had sunk deep 
into her young heart. The few terrible years of the King's 
reign had apparently undermined her health. The royal 
family were in deep affiotion, and under this last visita- 
tion, family, as well as the people, grew earnest and 
serious. In writing to her father. Queen Louisa^ whose 
heart was bound up in her children, said : 

" Our son William will turn out, unless I am greatly 
mistaken, the same as his father ; honest and intelligent. 
He resembles him most of all, but will not be as hand- 
some. You see, I am still in love with my husband." 

In a letter about this time sent to the king, she expresses 
a wish to once more visit her father, in Mecklenburg-Stre- 
litz. This wish was granted, and on the 25th of June, 
1810, she set out for the home of her childhood's days. 
There the King joined her. Overjoj^ed at the marks of 
affection everywhere bestowed upon her, she wrote upon 
a small piece of paper, which is still preserved : 

" My Deae Father : I am very happy to-day in being 
your daughter and the wife of the best of men. 

''New Strditz, June 28, 1810. LomsA." 

Iler health, however, failed day by day, until her con- 
dition becoming alarming, by the advice of her physician, 
she and her children were removed to Hohenzieritz. Her 
symptoms there soon showing her near approach to disso- 
lution, the King was informed, when he immediately set 


out for her bedside. Surrounded by her family, who 
received into their sorrowing hearts her gentle admoni- 
tions and listened to her steadfast hopes of better days 
for those she was forced to leave behind, the young Queen 
and mother passed away the 1 9th of July, 1810, mourned 
b}' all Germany. 

With a woman's keen perception, the Queen saw that 
Napoleon's supremacy in Germany could not be of long 
duration. In a letter written to her father shortly before 
her death, she prophetically said : 

" I do not believe that the Emperor Napoleon Bona- 
parte is firm and secure on his throne, brilliant as it is at 
this moment. Truth and justice alone stand firm and 
secure ; yet he is only politic, that is to say, wordly-wise ; 
not acting in obedience to eternal laws, but according to 
circumstances such as he finds them. Besides this, he 
sullies his rule with many acts of injustice. He does not 
mean honestly to the good cause and to mankind. In his 
unbounded ambition he cares only for self, and for his 
own personal interest. At the same time, he knows no 
moderation in anything; and he who is not able to 
restrain himself must lose his balance and fall. I firmly 
believe in a God, and consequently in a moral order of 
the world, which I do not see realized in an ascendancy of 
brute force. I therefore hope that the present evil times 
will be followed by better ones. It is quite evident that 
all that has been done, and is doing, is not to be perman- 
ent, nor to be considered as the best state of things, but a 
state of transition to a happier goal. This goal, however, 
seems to lie far off ; w^e shall probably not see it reached, 
but die in the meanwhile. God's will be done ! " 

Scarcely had the loved Queen been laid in her grave 


ere the whole of Northwestern Germany was annexed to 
France. The explanation given was that " this union 
was dictated by the forc« of circumstances, which circum- 
stances were that these provinces still continued to trade 
with England. Frankfort was also annexed to France, 
under the plea that " this city, founded by Napoleon's pre- 
decessor, Charlemagne^ must no longer be kept from its 
natural union with France." But the "continental sys- 
tem" of Napoleon, which was, in effect, a commercial 
war upon England, began to produce its natural results. 
Contraband tradesmen sprung up everywhere on the fron- 
tier, and many branches of trade were entirely ruined. 
France herself was getting tired of supplying armies to 
be destroyed, but, nevertheless, Napoleon seemed at the 
summit of his power and fame. On March 20, 1811, the 
son and heir he had long wished for was born, and imme- 
diately received the title of " King of Rome." 

Had the Emperor become drunk with glory? So it 
appeared to those who first heard he was about to declare 
war upon his old ally, Alexander of Russia. By some 
means the Czar had discovered Napoleon would never 
allow him to take Constantinople, and that he must be 
satisfied with the acquisition of Finland. He was also 
offended, it was said, that Napoleon had slighted his sister, 
for whose hand the Emperor had sued, but, without wait- 
ing for an answer, had married the Austrian Archduchess, 
Maria Louisa. Others who had stood by Napoleon were 
beginning to feel the heaviness of his hand. General 
Bernadotte, who had been adopted as the heir of the 
crown of Sweden by Charles XIII. (and whom Napoleon 
claimed to have made), saw that his country would be 
ruined without commercial intercourse with England. 


Austria, which looked with fear upon Russia's domination 
in Europe, was inclined to France ; also, because Napoleon 
was now the emperor's son-in-law. But Prussia, after try- 
ing in vain to form an alliance with Eussia, sought to 
avoid a rupture with either side. But this was not to be 
tolerated by Napoleon. A net- work of troops was drawn 
around her from Dantzic to Hamburg, and finally the 
command was given, " that Prussia must furnish an aux- 
iliary army to the French against Russia, of 20,000 men ; 
must permit the transit of the French army across Prussian 
territory and support it on its way, and restore some of 
her fortresses ; for which Prussia was to receive Livonia, 
Esthonia and Courland, when these provinces should be 
conquered from Russia. There was no escape and Prus- 
sia agreed ; but so great was the dissatisfaction of the 
army that more than three hundred Prussian officers left 
the service and enlisted on the side of Russia. ^'In the 
spring of 1812, vast masses of troops — the largest armies 
seen in Europe since the united tribes of Attila moved on 
towards the plains of Mame — now moved through Ger- 
many towards Russia." Allies and all formed an invad- 
ing force of 600,000 men. As they advanced " the Russians 
retreated to their inhospitable wastes," avoiding a battle 
and drawing their enemies after them. The troops suf- 
fered fearfully from disease and lack of food. The battle 
of Barodina, fought September 7, was not decisive, though 
one of the most hotly contested known in history, each 
army losing nearly 50,000 men. 

Napoleon entered Moscow September 14, 1812. He 
hoped to secure an early peace. Instead, the Russians, at 
the instigation of Baron Stein, it is said, burned their 
ancient capital, the Emperor Alexander refusing to receive 


Napoleon's messengers. In the middle of October began 
that terrible retreat with but a few hundred thousand men 
of Napoleon's six hundred thousand army entering Eussia. 
A great snow storm overtaking them on the 6th of No- 
vember, it is said, but thirty thousand succeeded in cross- 
ing the frontier. Napoleon, disguised in furs, left his 
army on December 4th, and traveled through Germany to 
France with all possible speed. 

The Prussians fought half-heartedly as French allies, 
and, it is claimed, their General York was m friendly 
communication with the Russians the whole time. Be 
this as it may, York kept the Prussians away from the 
French, and upon the order to retreat allowed his division 
to be cut oflf by the Eussians. York expected to be court- 
martialed, and wrote the King to this eflfect : " I lay my 
head cheerfully at your majesty's feet, if I have erred ; 
an d assure your majesty that I shall await the ball on the 
hillock as calmly as on the battle-field where I have grown 
gray," and adding, " Now or never is the moment to 
embrace freedom, independence and greatness. In 3'^our 
majesty's decision lies the fate of the world/' 

The Eussians as enemies ostensibly, as friends in 
reality, followed the Prussians across the frontier and 
occupied Konigsberg, the patriot Stein following close 
upon their rear. 

Napoleon demanded York's removal, but the Eussians 
would not let the aide with the order pass. 

Klois, York and Stein, xmauthorized by the King, 
began, in February, 1813, to organize n militia in East 
Prussia. The King considered himself still bound by his 
treaty with France, but he was borne along with the irre- 
sistible spirit of freedom pervading the hearts of his 


people. He would not have been able to resist it, however 
disposed. Accordingly, on March 17, 1813, Frederick 
William III. and the Emperor of Eussia met at Breslau, 
and entered into an alliance. The King issued a call two 
days later, addressed " To My People ! " in the following 
patriotic language: 

" My faithful people, as well as all Germans, need no 
explanation of the causes of the war which now begins. 
They are known to all Europe. Men of Brandenburg, 
Prussia, Silesia, Pomerania, and Lithuania, you know 
what you have endured for the last seven years 1 You 
know what will be your doom if this war does not end in 
our success ! Remember your past ; remember the Great 
Elector and the Gi'eat Frederick ! Even small nations have 
fought with great powers, and won success in a cause like 
ours. Remember the Swiss and Netherlanders ! This is 
the last and decisive struggle which we can make for our 
existence and independence ! There is no escape : an hon- 
orable peace or a glorious death awaits us. Even the last 
we must meet for honor's sake, since neither the Prussian 
nor the German would survive dishonor. But we have a 
right to be confident. To our righteous cause God will 
give the victory ! " 

Frederick William III. being the first King who had 
ever thrown himself upon the confidence of his subjects, 
his earnest and manly appeal was responded to with the 
wildest enthusiasm. A popular uprising took place in 
Prussia such as had never before been witnessed. Old and 
young, rich and poor, nobleman and peasant, all vied with 
each other in sacrifices to be made for the re-possession of 
a common country. Such was the dan at this time, that 
in less than a month, two hundred and seventy-one thou- 

254 KicpEKoB William I. 

sand armed men, out of a population of not more than 
five million, were ready to take the field for independence. 

The young Prince William, now sixteen years old, was 
anxious to take part in the great campaign for his country's 
deliverance. His father, however, fearing the conse- 
quences at his age and the state of his health, which was 
delicate, refused to grant his request. As a comi>ensation 
for the denial, he was appointed First Lieutenant of his 
;*egiment; but this empty distinction did not satisfy the 
proud-spirrited bo3\ 

" How can I, with honor, accept this promotion," said 
he, with deep disappointment, " if I must sit at home be- 
hind the stove while my regiment is before the fire of the 
enemy ? " " Do not repine," replied his father ; "you will 
lose nothing by obeying my orders." 

The result of the campaign of 1813 against France, in 
which Prussia was joined by Kussia, and which at the 
outset promised so much, came very near being a failure 
through the petty jealousies, cowardice, and incompetency 
of the Russian commanders, and doubtless would have 
resulted in utter defeat but for the efficiency of the Prus- 
sian officers, BlUcher, Gneisenau and Scharnhorst. After 
the reduction of his "grand army of six hundred thou- 
sand men" in the snows of Kussia, Napoleon at once 
ordered a new levy, and, to the infinite astonishment of 
his adversaries, succeeded in re-entering the field with 
four hundred thousand fresh troops. With one will tho 
people of Prussia, in fact the whole of North Gterman}", 
arose to meet his advancing forces. The father of tho 
dead Queen Louisa, the Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, 
was the first to come forward with offers of men and 
means to the King of Prussia. 


In this offer he declared with emphasis, "With the 
help of God, I will at all events show myself worthy of 
the honor of being a German prince," and his contingency 
of troops did show their ruler's worthiness, for a corps of 
Mecklenburg-Sti'elitz infantry, mainly composed of young 
recruits, upon meeting a corps of French veterans, under 
command of Viceroy Eugene, at Mockem, on their way 
to Herlin, after the first fire, did not attempt to reload, 
but fell upon their hated enemy with clubbed muskets. 

The battles of Lutzen, Gross-Groschen and Bautzen 
resulted in French victories, but Nai>oleon was daily 
growing weaker. The campaign had been v/ell begun by the 
French, but they had lost heavily in men, and could not 
retain what they had won. Blttcher and Gneisenau were 
confident that another battle would give them the victory. 
Napoleon sought an armistice. He tried to gain over 
Alexander, as at Tilsit, with tempting ])romiscs; but 
Alexander this time refused his offers. The French army 
was at Breslau when Napoleon secured an armistice for 
seven weeks, which was extended two weeks longer. 

The Prussians feared that this truce would lead to a 
suspension of hostilities. They hurried forward supplies. 
The militia were called from the distant provinces to rein- 
force the regiments of the line. Many Russian troops 
came to the front. Napoleon's army numbered, after 
more recruiting, 350,000 men. But during the armistice 
both Prussia and France had endeavored to add to their 
strength through more powerful alliances. Prussia had 
been most successful. Austria, from Prussia's former in- 
difference as to her fate, stood dallying with both oppos- 
ing powers for weeks, presumably to make the best terms 
possible for hei'self. She held the balance of power 


for the time being. Finally, a congress was held at 
Prague for Napoleon to decide whether he would accept 
Austria's mediation. The decision was awaited by the 
allies with intense anxiety. It is thus described by one of 
our historians : " On the night of August 10th, the Czar 
and Prussian King watched in a barn at Trachenberg for 
the rocket that was to signal Napoleon's refusal to accept 
Austria's terras. It was after midnight when the rockets 
shot up into the clear sky. When seen, the whole Silesian 
army, which had been under York, broke out into the 
wildest expressions of joy ; friends embracing with tears, 
groups of soldiers shouting, and salvos of artillery rolling 
away among the hills. On the 12th, two days after, Aus- 
tria declared war against France." 

Every power entering the coalition, except Prussia^ 
demanded some profit for themselves. England, Sweden, 
Russia and Austria were all to be well paid, by slices of 
territory. Prussia asked for existence only. The allied 
force amounted to about 630,000 men, while Napoleon 
could bring together but about 450,000. Although fight- 
ing began as early as the middle of August, the decisive 
,]3attle, known in Germany as the " Volker-schlacht " 
(Battle of Nations), was fought at Leipsic the 16th, 17th 
and 18th of October, 1813. In the height of the battle the 
bridge of Lindenau, the only outlet of retreat for French 
troops was prematurely blown up — a most barbarous 
act, by which thousands of flying troops lost their lives. 
The scepter of Napoleon's power was here broken. 

The members of the Ehinish League, who were now 
convinced of Napoleon's downfall, hastened into the arms 
of the allies. The Prussian troops had covered themselves 
with glory, while their generals, especially BlUcher and 



Gneisenau (Schamhorst having died in June from a 
wound received at Lutzen), were covered with dearly won 

At the battle of Katzbach, which was fought on the 26th 
of August, 1813, the French troops in Silesia were almost 
annihilated by the Prussians, under the intrepid Bliicher. 
He had allowed the French to defile through the narrow 
passes until he thought the time had come for an attack, 
when, placing himself at the head of his troops, he ex- 
claimed : " Now, children, enough Frenchmen have gone 
by — come on — forward!" and the armed children, fol- 
lowing, spread death and destruction among the ranks of 
their enemies. In the complimentary address issued the 
following day, to his brave soldiers he said: "By this 
great victory we have forced the French to abandon the 
whole of Silesia ; we have captured one hundred and three 
pieces of cannon, two hundred and fifty ammunition 
wagons, two French Eagles^ together with numerous other 
trophies, and have taken eighteen thousand prisoners, 
including many of their superior officers." After this 
battle his pet name among his troops was "Marshal For- 
warts." His grateful King, shortly afterward, created 
him a field-marshal and prince, with the title of " Prince 
of Wahlstadt." 

Blticher was the man (if we except Stein), in the war 
for German independence, who will live longest in the 
hearts and memory of his countrymen. His hard, un- 
yielding hatred to " the invader " became a religion with 
him. He was the resurrection and re-habilitation of Fred- 
erick the Great's national hopes. A major of cavalry 
with " Grosser Fritz," it is said of him, that, in those early 
days, he was a very opinionated young fellow, who stood 


upon having his rights upon all occasions. A junior officer 
being promoted over him, Blucher instantly offered his 
resignation to Frederick the Great, who, in the same 
spirited manner, accepted it, saying : " Major BlUcher, you 
may go to the devil." Of course that did not end the 
major's martial career. Such a character was needed in 
Prussia's regeneration, and but for him the battle of Water- 
loo might not have ended, as it did, the political career 
of Napoleon Bonaparte. At the age of seventy, he pos- 
sessed the physical and mental vigor of other generals of 
fifty. Whenever complimented for his achievements, he 
used to point toward Gneisenau, saying, " There is my 
head ; to him and to the Almighty you must be thank- 
ful for the success." And, in fact, it was the indomitable 
courage of BlUcher, combined with the military genius of 
Gneisenau, to which the great victories of tliat war are 
mainly attributable. 

After the memorable battle fo Leipsic, these two heroes 
were the first to exclaim, in a council of war held in the 
field, "Forward to Paris! Providence has furnished 
us with the means for the destruction of the despot. We 
should be unworthy of our country's love if we failed to 
employ them." 

Prince William, who had been appointed a captain of 
the Royal Guards, was permitted to join the army in its 
march to Paris. " I shall take you with me," said the 
King, " but for six weeks only, because you are not yet 
quite strong." The Prince was in the suite of the Rus- 
sian general, Jacken, when, on the 1st of January, 1814, 
as the allied troops passed the Rhine near Mannheim, he, 
for the first time in his life, became familiar with the 
sound of booming artillery. On the 27th of January, he 


received his " baptism of fire '^ at the battle of Bar-sur- 
Aube, where he gave proof of his sang froid and personal 

A biographer thus describes this little episode of 
Triuce William's first " smell of powder " : " The King 
from an eminence observed one of his regiments cruelly 
exposed to the enemy's fire, and ordered his son to go and 
ascertain the name of its commander. The order com- 
pels the Prince to ride within the radius of a heavy in- 
fantry fire, exposing him to the danger of being shot from 
his horse. Without the slightest hesitation, he proceeded 
upon his mission, appearing in the midst of the astonished 
soldiei^, fulfills his order, and, after having shaken hands 
with Colonel Yack, of the regiment, gallops back to his 
father with the desired information. Later on, he took 
part in the assault of the Russian regiment, Kaluga, on 
the heights of Malepin, and, as a reward for his fearless 
conduct in this battle, he was decorated by his father with 
the * Iron Cross,' an order created on the 10th of March, 
1812, the anniversary of Queen Louisa's birthday, and the 
greatest honor a Prussian soldier can receive from his 
King. The Prince also received an order from Alexander. 
The allied army was quickly and surely investing the rem- 
nant of Napoleon's forces. His battles were fought with 
the desperation of death." 

At the village of Eothiere, where a strong position 
was held by the French, and where Napoleon commanded 
in person, the allies met an unexpected resistance. At 
last, Marshal BlUcher hurriedly placed himself at the 
front, called to his troops in thunder tones, "Forward!" 
took the village by storm, and marched on toward Paris. 
Many more battles were to be fought by the allies, and 


at one time they were upon the point of concluding a 
peace with Napoleon, and but for the energetic protest of 
Marshal Blucher might have done so. His request to be 
furnished with two additional divisions, and the increase 
of his troops to 100,000 men, being granted, he started 
on his way straight to the French capital. Every inch of 
the way was contested, but in vain. Napoleon must sur- 
render. Accordingly, on the 31st of March, 1814, the 
King of Prussia, the Emperor of Eussia, with the two sons 
of the King of Prussia, rode into Paris, the Emperor of 
Austria remaining some leagues behind. Paris had sur- 
rendered, and the Emperor of Russia had given the fiat of 
the allied powers, to- wit : that " they would, in no way 
whatever, treat either with Napoleon or any one of his 
family ; and the French people were at liberty to choose 
another government." On the 6th of April, after Louis 
XVIII. had been acknowledged as King of the French, 
Napoleon signed his abdication and departed for the little 
island of Elba, in the Mediterranean Sea. 

The Emperor of Russia and the King of Prussia now 
left Paris, accompanied by Prince "William (who had since 
been promoted to a Majorship) and Marshal BlUcher, 
set out for London to pay a visit to the English Prince 
Regent. From London, father and son proceeded to 
Switzerland, to take possession of Neufchatel, which had 
been transferred to Pmssia in the settlement, and on the 
3d of August the solemn entry of the royal guards into 
Berlin took place — one of the great triumphal processions 
of history. 

Hardly had the public mind become settled to the 
certainty of a returned peace, when the news of Napo- 
leon's return from the island of Elba, and his arrival in 


Paris, on the 30th of March, 1815, again threw Europe 
into consternation. The peaceful tone of his proclama- 
tion, in which the promise was most solemnly made 
" that the Empire henceforth meant peace," did not de- 
ceive the European rulers, who forthwith declared him an 
outlaw. His overtures being thus rejected, he attempted 
to compel, with an armed force, what was refused him 
peacefully; but Marshal BlUcher and General Wellington 
put a speedy end to further parleying at the battle of 

King Frederick William and his son William had started 
from Berlin to take part in this last campaign against 
Napoleon, but before reaching the army the news of his 
defeat and of his transfer to an English ship overtook 
them. Continuing this journey they reentered Paris, in 
company with Alexander I. and Francis II. of Austria, 
on the 13th of July, 1815. Upon Prince William's return, 
he devoted his time and energies almost exclusively for 
the next two years to his military studies. In March, 
1817, he received the appointment of Colonel, taking com- 
mand of a battalion of the Guards. The following year, 
upon attaining his majority, he was promoted to a Major- 
Generalship, and in 1819 was honored with a seat and 
vote in the war ministry. In 1825, on the occasion of his 
birthday, he was placed in command of the Third Bran- 
denburg Army Corps, and three months later received the 
rank and title of Lieutenant-General. 

In June, 1817, Prince William accompanied his sister, 
Charlotte, the bride of the Czarowitch Nicholas of Russia, 
to St. Petersburg, and witnessed the marriage ceremonies, 
which took place on the 13th of July. In the latter part 
of May, the following year, King Frederick Willia.m paid 


a visit to his daughter at the Rnssian capital, who had 
jast presented her hasband with a son (Alexander). Be 
fore taking his departure, the King entrosted his son 
William with the supreme management of the military 
affairs of his kingdom. 

In October, 1822 and 1823, Prince William and his 
elder brother accompanied their father upon an extended 
tour through Switzerland and Italy, visiting Neufch&tel, 
Venice, Verona, Naples, Pompeii and Rome, at which 
place they paid their respects to the Pope. Prof. Bunsen, in 
whose care the two princes had been placed during this 
journey, writes of them as follows : " They are both 
very observant and intelligent. Prince William is of a 
serious disposition and manly character, which one can 
not behold and understand without being heartily devoted 
to him, and must in all sincerity hold him in high esteem." 

The story of an early attachment of the Prince is often 
related, and may or may not be true. These affairs in 
royal families are most generally rather arbitrarily settled. 
The story runs as follows: 

" The marriage of the Crown-Prince, Frederick William, 
was not blessed by an heir, and probabilities indicated 
that Prince William would one day succeed to the throne. 
Frederick William III. was especially proud of him. Firm, 
faithful, kind, and brave, the young Prince had become 
the army's idol. Unfortunately, he loved the Princess 
Charlotte Radziwill, then the belle of the northern metro- 
polis. The handsome Pnnce seemed made for her, and 
she created for him. But it was in vain. The inequality 
of her birth was insuperable. The old dynasty to which 
she belonged outshone in power and wealth many of the 
princely houses of the fatherland, and once, in the day of 



the Great Elector, HohenzoUem had led a Badziwill to the 
altar. But those days were changed. A more stringent 
code governed the alliances of the royal house since the 
reign of Frederick the Great, confining them entii'ely to 
immediate members of ruling families. The Badziwills 
ruled no more. Five years went by. Prince William 
refused to give up his choice. Everything was done to 
allay the doubts and accomplish the union. Persuaded 
by Prince Anton Radziwill, a prominent and powerful 
scion of the house, the great jurist, Eichhorn, attempted 
to prove, in a lengthy publication, the equality of his 
patron's family. But his learning could not overcome a 
prejudice and the erudition of distinguished opponents. 
As a last resort, Prince August of Prussia, offered to 
adopt Charlotte, but the theorists said that adoption 
would not replace blood. And other complications had 
arisen in the meantime. A young brother. Prince Karl, 
had married a Saxon princess, and the grand ducal court 
could claim the crown for the children of this union 
should the Eadziwill marriage take place. Here was the 
crisis. Love could no more be the only consideration. 
The fate of a dynasty was at stake. This the King could 
not allow. Worked upon by his monitors, he finally but 
reluctantly decided to use his authority. This was in 
1826. In a letter, every word of which breathed contri- 
tion and sorrow, he reviewed all that had been done in the 
case to please his son, but done in vain. Nothing now re- 
mained but to sacrifice himself for the welfare of his 
country and the salvation of the race. 

" Receiving the letter from the hands of General von 
Witzleban, the prince was completely unmanned, weeping 
Uke a child. But gathering courage to stare destiny in 


the face, he replied during the same evening that he would 
obey. He unburdened his soul to his father, assuring him 
that he would justify his trust in mastering his grief and 
hardening himself to the inevitable. The lovers were 
separated, and a year later, at an arranged meeting at the 
court of Saxe- Weimar, the Prince became acquainted 
with the Princess Augusta, just entering her sixteenth 
year. Of her, the celebrated savant, William von Hum- 
boldt, then said : ' She is a young lady of firm and inde- 
pendent character, with a quick and penetrating mind.' 

"The young couple were betrothed on the 19th of 
October, 1828, and in June, the following year, the wed- 
ding ceremonies took place." 

On the 18th of October, 1831, the anniversary of the 
battle of Leipsic, " Unser Fritz," Frederick William Nich- 
olas Karl (Frederick III.), the late Emperor of Ger- 
many, first saw the light of day. Seven years later, a 
daughter, Louise, present Grand Duchesse of Baden, was 
bom to the royal pair. 

After the first occupation of Paris by the allies, a con- 
gress of the powers which had formed the coalition 
against Napoleon was called to meet at Vienna. This 
congress, composed of the princes and ambassadors, met 
in 1814, but did not finish its work until June 9, 1815, 
nine days before the battle of Waterloo, At this 
congress the map of Europe was entirely remodeled, and 
as best suited the convenience and according to the degree 
of influence the one or other of the sovereigns, or their 
representatives, could bring to bear upon the delibera- 
tions of the congress. 

"The American reader will observe," says the his- 
torian Lewis, "that this self-constituted tribunal of 


sovereigns assumed the absolute right to dispose, at 
its own will, of the people of Europe, assigning them, by 
nations, cities and districts, to such rulers, governments 
and political associations as pleased it." 

By the stipulations of this congress, Prussia received 
the province of Posen, and half the Saxon territory, with 
845,000 inhabitants. She also received the Duchies of 
JUllich and Berg, on the Rhine, and a number of other 
smaller districts and towns. Considering the sacrifices 
Prussia had made for the War of Independence, her share 
in the spoils was very meager, indeed ; but what Prussia 
failed to secure in territory she gained in prestige among 
the people of Germany, as an exclusively German power. 
Without suspecting it, Austria and Russia had, by tneir 
niggardly treatment of Prussia, laid the very foundation 
for her future greatness and power. Her kingdom now 
became the nucleus of the great German idea — German 
unity. Germany was now formed into a confederation of 
thirty-eight states, and took the place of the former Ger- 
man Empire: of, which Austria, Prussia, Bavaria, Sax- 
ony, Hanover, Wiirtenburg and Baden were the largest. 

In the act of confederation it was stipulated that 
all members should have equal and uniform rights. 

That the general interest of the confederation must be 
discussed and arranged at a Diet, to be held at Frankfort- 
on-the-Main, under the presidency of Austria. 

All members of the confederation to promise to unite 
together against foreign attacks ; but never to levy war 
against each other. 

In all the states of the confederation there was to he 
a constitutional ffover?im£nt. 

Religious liberty to be guaranteed throughout the 


The Diet to occcupy itself with the formation of laws 
for the liberty of the press, as well as for commercial 
intercourse between the states of the confederation. 

Thus it would seem that after parcelling out territory 
and peoples in the most Russian fashion, the Congress 
took a long step in a progressive direction ; but as was to 
be expected from an assemblage of which Mettemich was 
the leading spirit, the promises made were those merely 
of kings, to be broken at pleasure. 

On November 5, 1816, the first meeting of the Diet 
took place at Frankfort. In the clash of interests that 
immediately followed, everything relating to the estab- 
lishing of courts and the internal government of the dif- 
ferent states was forgotten. 

It was plainly apparent at the very outlook that by 
giving to Austria the presidency, which at best was not 
a German power, but a conglomeration of various dis- 
cordant nationalities, the seeds of contention had been 
sown. The most strictly German power, and which, by 
tradition and by the inherent German pharacteiristics of 
her people, was entitled to the lead in a confederation of 
German states, was pushed into the background. 

The preponderance given to Austria was also justly 
interpreted by the progressive party of Germany as a 
concession to Catholicism and a step in the direction of 
political retrogression. In fact, the smaller states of the 
confederation soon took sides with one or the other of 
these two countries which were striving for national 
supremacy upon this line of thought. Those states where 
religious bigotry and the servility of the people most pre- 
vailed sided with Austria, while those entertaining more 
liberal and progressive religious and political ideas leaned 


toward Prussia. But, while the compact had thus 
engendered political strife between the members of the 
confederation, and Germany was losing what little pres- 
tige she had among the European powers, the salutary 
provision which compelled each of the states to keep the 
peace among themselves, had the effect of securing to the 
German people a period of forty-five years for recupera- 
tion — a period of prosperity and general contentment 
unknown since her golden days before the Eeformation. 
The material well-being of Germany, however, did not 
destroy the hope nursed in the hearts of her people for 
greater political freedom, which had been one of the 
incentives to their struggle for independence. They still 
sung and wrote of their achievements in behalf of country 
and liberty. They listened to the story of Armenius, 
and the share the Germans took in defending Europe 
against the corrupting power of the Byzantine Empire. 
They ren>embered, with self-exaltation, that Martin 
Luther was their countryman; that the world was in- 
debted to them for the religious freedom it enjoyed ; and 
it was to their fathers' bravery, under the lead of Frederick 
the Great, that Germany had been preserved from becom- 
ing part Cossack, part Austrian, and part French. It was 
Northern Germany — the land of the Saxon and Goth — 
which had offered the most, done the most, and suffered 
the most in all these early struggles for liberty of action 
and liberty of thought. They also felt that to their sac- 
rifices, their treasures, their bravery and heroism, Ger- 
many's independence from French domination was mainly 
due. They had been led to believe that, after having suf- 
fered and sacrificed, and finally achieved these successes, 
and because the liberal policies of Stein and Schamhorst 


had proven eminently successful to Prussia, that the 
promises made by the King before the battle of Waterloo 
would be fulfilled. 

This wish or aspiration for a constitutional govern- 
ment had taken deep root in the universities — the 
nurseries of the Keformation. German unity should mean 
a government founded upon German intelligence and 
equality. The students who had taken part in the conflict 
for the nation's independence, having passed through the 
common dangers of a terrible war, could not realize their 
insignificance upon the return of peace. They formed 
themselves into organizations — student veteran associ- 
ations — called the Burschenschaft, the first of which was 
organized at Jena. In 1817 the number of orders in- 
cluded the universities of Tubingen, Heidelberg, Halle, 
Giessen, and one or two others. On the 18th of October 
of the same year, the representatives of fourteen universi- 
ties assembled at Wartburg — of Martin Luther fame — 
and adopted a constitution. Their ruling incentive was 
united action towards securing for United Germany a 
constitutional government. 

The hereditary monarchs of Europe, forming the 
" Holy Alliance," looked upon these liberal tendencies and 
manifestations as dangerous heresies and innovations, 
threatening the established order of things in Europe, 
and which it was their bounden duty to suppress. 

Among the German powers, Austria led the reaction- 
ary movement. Mettemich, the prime minister of the 
Emperor was the ablest and most diplomatic statesman of 
the age, but a sworn enemy to every liberalizing aspir- 
ation of the people. His efforts were accordingly directed 
towards defeating a constitutional form of government, 


not only of the Confederation, but in Austria and every 
other German state. Every ruler felt the power of his 
opposition. While in the midst of this reactionary struggle 
of the monarchs against fulfilling the promises maae to 
the people, the cry of murder startled the land, giving all 
Europe a sudden shock, and causing the people to pause 
in lending countenance to measures not in accordance with 
the laws of the country — ^the remembrance of the French 
revolution being still fresh in their minds. The cause of 
this cessation of active operations was the death of Au- 
gust Frederick von Kotzebue, a German dramatist of ac- 
knowledged talent, but of easy conscience. It was known 
that he had used his pen to give satirical accounts of those 
political organizations of the German students to the 
"hated despots," and, more especially, to the Czar of 
Russia, in whose pay he was said to be. His death was 
decided upon by the Burschenschaft and his assassin was 
to be designated by lot. It fell upon a student named 
Sand, who went to Mannheim in Baden, where Kotzebue 
was then living, and appearing before him, with the wild 
exclamation : " This is for you — ^traitor to your country ! " 
stabbed him to the heart. Sand was beheaded, but his 
execution was the occasion for a liberal demonstration, 
the* students dipping their handkerchiefs in the blood of 
their martyred brother, accompanied with gi'eat lamenta- 
tions. But assassination, when committed in the name 
of liberty, has always proven the best ally of despotism. 

This murder of the author Kotzebue did not form an 
exception to the rule. It was as inexcusable as it was 
fatal to the liberal cause of Germany. Metternich at once 
seized upon the unfortunate occurrence as a pretext for the 
adoption of repressive measures. Upon his request, the 



September following, the Diet at Frankfort passed the 
Carlsbad Resolutions, by which the Burschenschaft was 
suppressed, the freedom of the press destroyed, and in- 
quisitorial commissions for the suppression of political 
agitation established. In May, 1820, Metternich's des- 
potic policy was further strengthened by the adoption 
of the so-called "Final Act," by which every state was 
required to furnish military aid in suppressing movements 
of liberal tendencies in any part of the confederation ; and 
to complete the slavery in which he hoped to bind the 
peoples of Europe, similar repressive measures wereadopted 
by the congresses of the sovereigns of the " Holy Alliance." 

But while the two greatest and, in a military sense, 
strongest powers of the German confederation were 
steadily pursuing the most illiberal and reactionary course, 
a strong anti-Metternich sentiment was growing up in the 
smaller states, some of which were ruled by wise and pop- 
ular sovereigns who had conscientiously fulfilled the prom- 
ise made the people of the several states in the act of con- 
federation, to-wit : that there should be a constitutional 
government in every state of the confederation. The first 
sovereign to fulfill this promise was the Duke of Weimar. 
Nassau, Bavaria^ Baden and Wtirtemberg followed in 
1818. These liberal concessions had the effect of increas- 
ing the number and strengthening the convictions of those 
in the vanguard of political freedom ; and as liberty is epi- 
demical in its effect, the people of the larger states, from 
which these political advantages were still withheld, be- 
came gradually more restless. In Prussia, however, the 
people were indemnified for the King's withholding his 
promise by advantages in other directions. 

It must be said to the credit of King Frederick Will- 


iam III. that while he was naturally inclined towards ab- 
solute monarchism, and was politically under the influence 
of absolutists, of which Emperor Alexander of Russia and 
Prince Metternich were the master spirits, he was heart- 
ily devoted to the interests of his people, and gave every 
assistance in his power to the development of the resources 
of Prussia, and to the promotion of her agricultural indus- 
tries and commercial interests. 

Public instruction had never been overlooked by him, 
even in the darkest .hour of Prassia's wars, and since peace 
had returned it received his special care and atten- 
tion; the institutions of learning, from the elementary 
school to the highest colleges of science, were multiplied 
and brought to a high state of perfection. The Univer- 
sity of Berlin owes its existence to King Frederick Will- 
iam III. He was also instrumental in bringing about a 
union of the Eeformed Churches with the Lutherans, and 
in 1828 in forming the German Zollverein (Tariff Confede- 



IT had been charged that Prince William was merely 
a military martinet until he reached the throne. If 
this were true, future events have shown that it was not 
only the best thing for Prussia, but for the whole of Ger^ 
many, that he was such. A careful study of the causes 
which led to the death struggle of his ancestor, Frederick 
the Great, as well as his own experiences during the years 
of his country's greatest humiliation and prospective down- 
fall, and a knowledge of Austria's constant effort to be- 
little Prussia's influence with the smaller German states — 
all must have impressed the prince early in life with the 
certainty that Prussia's future safety and her position as 
a German power lay in making her as strong physically 
as she was becoming intellectually, and in the line of ac- 
tion laid down by Stern, Scharnhorst and other patriots 
of 1812 and 1813. Prussia, these men thought, could 
only exist under the protecting arm of a well organized 
and equipped army. 

With France on the west, Austria on the south, the 
smaller German states an uncertain quantity, and a dis- 
affected element at home, the Prince readily saw that 
some one of his family, if the family continued to hold its 
ancestral inheritance, must be at the head of the ai*my. 
His love of order, discipline, and hopes for the prosperity 
of Prussia, fitted him for this branch of his father's gov- 
ernment the best. Accordingly, from the date of his ma- 
jority, 1818 to 1840, we find his life an exceedingly active 



00 g 

•2* S 


•S H 
Xi "^ 

^ i 
© ® 





one. Aside from his natural interest, he was first made 
commander of an army corps, with the rank of Lieutenant- 
General, which office compelled him to aid in the reorgan- 
ization of the army. His tours of military inspection 
throughout the provinces, as well as the professional mis- 
sions to Italy, Austria, Russia, Switzerland, and Belgium 
at the request of his government, gave him little time foi' 

On 8th of June, 1840, his father died, and his brother, 
Frederick William IV., was crowned King of Prussia. 
This man was a monarch of more than ordinary acquire- 
ments. He was an orator of some prominence and his 
education was of the highest order. Like his father, he 
was fondly attached to his people, and earnestly devoted 
to their material interests ;he conscientiously believed that 
by promoting these interests he was fulfilling his whole 
duty as King. It is true, he showed a more liberal spirit 
than his predecessors, but he was not in accord with the 
progressive ideas of the times, and the requests by popular 
leaders for a constitution were answered with such evasive 
remarks as : "I will not allow a piece of paper to push it- 
self between me and my people." 

An erroneous but unanimous opinion prevailed at this 
time, that the King was well disposed and in hearty sym- 
pathy with the reforms demanded by the people, but that 
Prince William was the evil spirit behind the throne. 
This charge has since been proven untrue in every partic- 
ular. However, as the opposite of the truth is usually 
firmest believed, this impression continued to be held. 
Accordingly, his accession to the throne of Prussia, after 
the death of his childless and physically feeble brother 
was contemplated w^ith much fear and apprehension. 


In anticipation of such an event, Frederick William IV., 
on the 12th of June, 1840, conferred upon Prince William 
the title of Prince of Prussia, and the rank and title of 
General of the Prussian Infantry. 

As before stated, the Prussians expected much of the 
scholarly King in the way of a Constitutional govern- 
ment. But although he had shown a liberal spirit when 
Crown Prince, when firmly seated upon the throne, he 
suddenly became an absolutist. 

In 1842 he took a journey to England, appointing 
William, now forty-seven years of age. Regent during his 
absence. Says Baron Bunsen, in his letters, in regard to 
the opinions of the Prince upon the constitutional ques- 
tion then agitating the country : 

" The Prince spoke with me more than an hour, ad 
lihitum; in the first place about England, then on the 
great question— ^the Constitution. I told him all that I 
had said to the King of facts that I had witnessed. Upon 
his question, What my opinion was? I requested time 
for consideration, as I had come hither to learn and to 
hear ; but so much I could perceive and openly declare, 
that it would be impossible longer to govern with Provin- 
cial Assemblies alone^ — ^it was as if the solar system 
should be furnished with centrifugal powers only. The 
Prince stated to me his own position relative to the great 
question, and to the King, with a clearness, precision, 
self-command, and openness which delighted me ! He is 
quite like his father; throughout a noble-minded Prince 
of Brandenburg — ^the house which has created Prussia." 

Two years after, William visited England, and was 
cordially received by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. 
Says the Queen, in her diary published a short time since : 


«I like him. very much. He is extremely amiable, 
agreeable and sensible; cheerful and eas}'' to get on 
with. He is very amusing, talkative and frank. On all 
public questions he spoke most freely, mildly and judi- 
ciously, and I think would make a steadier and safer King 
than the present. He was in ecstasy with the park and 
the trees, as he is with everything in England. He 
seemed to take a liking to England — admired her great- 
ness, which he perceives to be a consequence of her politi- 
cal and religious institutions." But in his " Life of the 
Prince Consort," Sir Theodore Martin observes : " The 
cry throughout Europe at this time was for Constitutional 
government upon the English model; but the Prince 
seems to have felt that a Constitution like ours, which had 
grown up with the growth of the nation, and owed its 
form, as well as its stability, to the fact that it was in 
harmony with the national culture and life and habits, 
was not a thing to be applied to the other nations of Eu- 
rope, where none of the conditions were the same." 
Further, Sir Theodore says : "A very cordial and intimate 
relation was established between Prince Albert and the 
Prince of Prussia during this visit. Frank and sincere as 
both were by nature, and both watching with anxious in- 
terest the aspect of affairs on the Continent, which was 
already prophetic of coming storms, this was only to be 
expected. The friendship was cemented by personal in- 
tercourse during four sul3sequent visits of the Prince of 
Prussia to England in 1848, 1850, 1853 and 1856, and came 
to a happy climax in the marriage by which the reigning 
families of Prussia and England became united in 1858." 

When the news reached Germany that on the 24th of 
February, 1848, an uprising had taken place in Paris; that 


King Louis Philippe had been driven into exile and a repub- 
lic proclaimed, a great impetus was given to liberal ideas 
in Germany. The sovereigns of almost all the smaller 
States who, but a few days before had remained deaf to 
the pleadings of their subjects, now leant a willing ear as 
sovereigns always do at the specter of sudden revolution. 
They protested they always were the dear friends of the 
people, and never had any other object than the people's 
interests at heart. The people believed them, and were 
for the time being appeased by a change of ministry. The 
reactionary cabinets being dismissed, others professing 
more liberal views were installed in oflBice. These were 
called " the March-ministers." 

The people of Prussia were among the first to demand 
from Frederick William IV. their rights so long wrong- 
fully withheld. "The King's intentions are good," they 
said, "but he is under th© reactionary influence of Crown 
Prince William," who, at that time, as before stated, had 
grown to be most unpopular — ^the best hated individual, 
it was claimed, in all Berlin. Conscious of this, and fear- 
ing for his personal safety, he was ordered to proceed to 
the Ehinish provinces and take command of the portion 
of the army stationed there. This order elicited a violent 
protest from some of the most prominent men and sup- 
porters of the King in these provinces. The order was 
finally withdrawn, and the King issued a decree in which 
he promised to use his influence with the other German 
powers to meet and reform the Federal Constitution. This 
decree pleased the people, and in their gratitude they hur- 
ried in throngs to the palace to congratulate him. The 
King appeared upon the balcony, bowed his acknowledg- 
ments, and retired. The people remained, however, and 


after some time the request to disperse was answered from 
a thousand throats : "Away with the military ! " 

While some of the leaders hastened to the King to 
consult w^ith him, two shots were fired, and the cry, 
" Treason ! treason ! " was raised by the excited populace. 
Flying to arms, they immediately began to erect barri- 
cades. They were attacked by the military on March 
18th, and the battle renewed next day. Canister was 
used, and the revolutionists were mowed down without 
discretion. Along in the afternoon, a deputation of both 
loyal and liberal leaders appeared before the King, to 
impress upon him the necessity of stopping further blood- 
shed. The King reluctantly complied, and withdrew the 
troops from Berlin. This was interpreted as a concession 
and was claimed as a great popular victory, which the 
rioters wished to intensify by compelling the King and 
Queen to view the ghastly work done by the army. 
Transporting about two hundred of the bodies of those 
who had been shot to the royal palace, the King and 
Queen were requested to appear and honor the dead, 
which they did without hesitation, the King respectfully 
removing his hat during the oixieal. From the King 
their indignation was now transferred to Prince William, 
whom they accused (erroneously, as before stated) of hav- 
ing issued the order to fire upon the people. The origin 
of this charge was that William had urged his brother to 
maintain his dignity, and not to quail before the mob. 
He had, also, advised him to give the people, without 
hesitation, the Constitution they were clamoring for. 
That this was his attitude was stated by the officers of 
his staff, who solemnly averred, that during the time the 
emeute was raging, " he refused to give any order what- 


ever, even upon the most pressing occasion, always reply- 
ing, ^I have no orders to give I ' " So that the sobriquet, 
''^ Kartdtschen Prince^^ (Canister Prince), which w^ 
given him at the time, was not deserved. The odium 
attached to this act, notwithstanding, finally alarming the 
friends of the Prince, the King sent him upon a mission 
to England, William refusing to go until it could be 
shown he had not fled to escape injury to his person. 
While in London he was not idle, but, enjoying the soci- 
ety of Peel, Palraerston and Lord Eussell, he had an 
excellent opportunity to carefully examine the methods 
of the English government. These days of exile were 
for him invaluable, because Kings never advance in 
earnest except under the spur of necessity. And if this 
few months' sojourn in that wonderful country did not 
send him back to Prussia an enthusiastic admirer of Eng- 
land's representative form of government, it furnished 
him with. the evidence that liberty is not inconsistent 
with monarchical institutions. That these were his im- 
pressions is seen in the following letter, written to the 
King on his return journey to Berlin : 

" I beg respectfully to inform your Majesty that, in 
accordance with the commands imparted to me, I have 
quitted London, and am at present on the Continent. I 
deem this a most opportune moment for giving renewed 
expression to the sentiments, already well known to yom* 
Majesty, with which I return to my native country. I 
venture to hope that the free institutions, to found which 
still more firmly your Majesty has convoked the repre- 
sentatives of the people, vrill, with God's gracious aid, 
become more and more developed to the benefit of 
Prussia. I will devote all my powers sincerely and 


faithfully to this development, and look forward to the 
time when I shall accord to the Constitution, about to be 
promulgated after conscientious consultation between 
your Majesty and your people, such recognition as shall 
be prescribed to the Heir-Apparent by Constitutional 

In the meantime, the revolution was making rapid 
progress in Germany. The report was circulated that the 
King of Prussia had been seen riding through the streets 
of Berlin, decorated with the national colors of black, red 
and gold, and had publicly declared, that '' Prussia must 
henceforth be merged into Germany." 

On March 31st, the Vorparlament (Preparatory Par- 
liament), composed of the members of the different rep- 
resentative assemblies of the states, met at Frankfort. On 
the same occasion the old Diet of the German confeder- 
ation of princes assembled in the same city, and adopted 
an order establishing a German Parliament upon the basis 
of universal suffrage. - y 

On the 28th of May, Prince "William, who had returned 
to Berlin, publicly declared: "A clear conscience alone 
has enabled me to live through what has recently befallen 
me, and with a clear conscience I return to ray father- 
land. I have all the time hoped that the day of truth 
would dawn. At last it has dawned. Meanwhile much 
has been changed in our country. The King has willed 
that it should be so; the King's will is sacred to me ; I am 
the first of his subjects, and adhere to these new con- 
ditions with all my heart; but justice, order, and law 
must govern, not anarchy — ^against this last I will strive 
with my whole might. That is my calling in life." 

The Prince was even prevailed upon to take a 


seat in the new National Parliament, to which he had 
been elected in his absence. At the opening of the as- 
sembly, he heartily welcomed his colleagues, and gave his 
assurance that he would conscientiously fulfill liis duties 
as the first subject of the King? 

It could well be anticipated, knowing the leaning of the 
King of Prussia, that the concession made by him under 
the pressure of events over which he had no control, would 
not be received with the same satisfaction by the people 
as if made upon his own volition. His good faith was 
questioned by many, not only in Prussia, but all over Ger- 
many, who declared he could not consider himself in duty 
bound to keep promises made under duress. This senti- 
ment was fostered by the extremists with pet theories, by 
demagogues w^ho had nothing to lose but everything to 
gain by revolution, but principally by the adherents of Aus- 
tria, who improved the opportunity to intensify the anti- 
Prussian sentiment among the people of Southern Ger- 
many. Kiots and bloody conflicts between the people of 
Prussia and elsewhere were the natural result of such a 
state of conflicting public sentiment. Prince William had 
retired from public view and was quietly living in Babels- 
berg, while political apathy and indifference seemed to 
have taken possession of the King. The German Parliament 
had committed the blunder of electing the clever sports- 
man. Archduke John of Austria, to the position of Reichs- 
verweser (Vicar of the German realm), commander-in-chief 
of the armies of the German confederation, and charged 
with the execution of the decrees of the German Parlia- 
ment. Archduke John assumed the office with great pomp ; 
but the armies he was to command were not forthcoming, 
and the decrees of Parliament remained, consequently, 


unexecuted ; nor did this unwillingness on the part of the 
German sovereigns to assist him seem to disturb him much, 
but rather to give him an excuse for not acting. He was 
an Austrian and was elected through Austrian influence ; 
consequently, bound to prevent the very thing the re- 
form Parliament had charged him with, to-wit : National 
liberty and union. 

The hopes of every patriot of Germany were now cen- 
tered upon Prussia, but the King seemed not disposed to aid 
in strengthening the federal power as long as Austria was 
at its head. Rome, it was claimed, was also active in en- 
deavors to diminish as far as possible the influence of the 
Protestant power in the north of Germany. Efforts had 
been made by a highly esteemed Catholic prelate, Herr 
Wessenberg, to establish a separate German Catholic 
Church. Ultramontanism (beyond the Alps) was at its 
height in Austria and some of the smaller German states. 
Indifference and inaction in Prussia, and impotency at the 
head of the German Parliament: such was the condition 
of the confederacy in the spring of 1849. In the mean- 
time disturbances had taken place in Schleswig-Holstein. 

Denmark, by the possession of Ilolstein, had become a 
member of the German Confederation, and her population 
sympathized more with Germany than with Denmark, 
which sentiment took the form of an open revolt in 1848, 
and the King of Prussia was appealed to for assistance. 
Prussian troops under General Wrangle were sent against 
the Danes, who drove them from Holstein, but Russia 
having protested, an armistice was signed at Malmo. The 
armistice, however, could not be completed unless ratified 
by the National Parliament at Frankfort. Its introduction 
was received with noisy demonstrations of disapproval, and 


only after a lengthy and most acrimonioiis debate between 
the liberal and conservative members of the assembly, 
was it finally ratified. In the spring and summer of 1849, 
Prussian troops again entered the Duchies, but withdrew 
in 1850, and, together with Austria, sided with Denmark, 
when by this coalition the Duchies were completely sub- 

This seeming subserviency of the central power of Ger- 
many to Russia's dictation, created the most intense excite- 
ment among the people, which found expression in a mass- 
meeting of liberals, held in an open field near Frankfort, 
wlien they resolved to march, on the day following, in force 
before St. Paul's Church, where the Parliament was in ses- 
sion, and there demand that the armistice be declared null 
and void, and in case of refusal, to disperse Parliament 
by force. 

This plan was frustrated, however, by the timely ar- 
rival of a body of Prussian troops, after a short but 
bloody encounter with the revolutionists in the streets of 



IN Southern Germany, especially in Baden, the revo- 
lutionary element, led by the well-known Frederick 
Hecker, was not inclined to await the slow development of 
free institutions through Parliamentary action, but resolved 
to strike for " liberty, equality and fraternity " at once. 
Hecker had been a member of the Eepresentative As- 
sembly of Baden for six years, and on every occasion he 
espoused the cause of the people with enthusiasm and en- 
ergy. But he was far in advance of the people, and when, 
in April, 1848, he declared the Republic at (Constance, his 
followers were few. But undaunted, and in the firm be- 
lief that the people would flock to his standard, he marched 
with an army of 1,200 men to Freiburg, with the intention 
of declaring a Republic there ; here, also, he found but little 
enthusiasm for his undertaking, and after the first en- 
counter with some regular troops from Baden and Hesse, 
he was defeated, and with a handful of his followers re- 
tired across the Rhine into Switzerland. In September 
following, another attempt to revolutionize Southern Ger- 
many was made by Gustavo von Struve, which failed 
more ignominiously than had Hecker's. During Novem- 
ber, the liberals of Vienna had raised the standard of 
revolution, but the Austrian army, composed of national- 
ities inimical to Germany, had no sympathy for the revo- 
lutionists, and were consequently not only ready, but eager, 
to suppress the popular movement there. The struggle 
was short and decisive, the noble Robert Blum, a liberal 



member of the German Parliament, was shot by order of 
the bloodthii^sty General Wendischgratz, while other pat- 
riots, among whom were Oswald Ottendorffer, the pres- 
ent publisher of the New York Staats Zeitung^ and Hein- 
rich Binder, editor of the New York Pitck^ were com- 
pelled to fly from their native land. 

The revolution in Hungary came nearest being success- 
ful of any that was attempted at this time in Europe. 
The Magyars were thoroughly organized, and under such 
leaders as Louis Kossuth, Bern and others, the liberal 
army numbered 200,000 strong. They would have been 
successful had not Bussia come to the aid of Francis Jo- 
seph with a large army, and decisively defeated the Hun- 
garians at Temesvar, when many of the rebel officers were 
court-martialed and shot by the infamous Ilaynau. 

The revolution which followed in Baden, although un- 
successful, left its impress not only upon the countries di- 
rectly concerned, but also indirectly upon the affairs of 
the United States, as in course of time most of the promi- 
nent actors found a refuge and permanent home here. 

Although the Constitutional Parliament had succeeded 
after much discussion in adopting a series of articles em- 
bodying the framework for a future constitution, the peo- 
ple, collectively, of Germany, were not satisfied, nor was 
it expected this constitution would be accepted by the va- 
rious rulers. 

On the 28th of March, 1849, the imperial crown of Ger- 
many was offered by the majority of Parliament to the 
King of Prussia, Frederick William IV.; the smaller states 
accepted the choice, but Bavaria, Wurtemberg, Hanover, 
and Saxony refused ; Austria formally protested, and after 
some hesitation, Frederick William himself declined be- 


cause the Diet of the princes and rulers had not offered 
it to hira. 

Thus were the fruits of a whole year's Parliamentary 
labor lost, and tlie hopes of the people destroyed. All 
further efforts by these means appeared now like mock- 
ery, and the prolonged deliberations of Parliament hence- 
forth seemed but a farce. 

There was but one course left, and that was — Revolu- 

The Revolutionists — revolutionists in so far as they 
were determined to compel the German princes to give 
them a constitutional government as they had promised, 
commenced operations early in May, 1849, with the expul- 
sion of the Grand Duke of Baden, who, with his family 
and court, and the higher civil and military officers, de- 
parted in great haste at the sudden uprising of his people, 
who were now fully aroused and in bitter earnest. The 
rank and file of the army, and a few officers of lower 
grade, joined the people and established a provisional gov- 
ernment at Carlsruhe ; the places of the deserted officers 
were filled from the ranks, and the troops marched to the 
frontiers to resist the invasion which would be sure to fol- 
low, unless equal success should attend simultaneous move- 
ments elsewhere. The adjoining Bavarian province across 
the Rhine followed the example of its neighbors in Baden, 
and the people took possession of the offices left vacant 
by the departed functionaries. The government in Baden 
was first represented by a General Committee (Landesaus- 
chuss) in May, consisting of twenty-four members, of 
which Lorenz Brentano was President and Amand Gogg 
Vice-President; on the 1st of June that committee was 
substituted by a Provisional Government of five members, 


Brentano, G5gg, Peter, Fielder and Sigel, and towards 
the end of the war the political power was turned over to 
an Executive of three members, (Dictator) Brentano, 
Gogg and Werner. Besides this, a Constitutional Con- 
vention was called, consisting of seventy-four members, 
of whom sixty-three appeared at the first meeting; it, 
however, adjourned sine die on the 18th of June, after 
having appointed an Executive of threcj already men- 
tioned. The garrisons (excepting that in the Fortress of 
Landau) fraternized with the people. Volunteers in great 
numbers poured in from all parts of the country. Gen. Si- 
gel raised, organized, and as far as was practicable, equipped 
the revolutionary array, which was under his command 
during the first period of the war, until Mieroslawski 
was appointed Commander-in-Chief, and then Gen. Sigel 
himself, although Secretary of War, entered the field 
as the Adjutant-General of that officer. An uprising 
had taken place in Dresden, but was suppressed, and the 
fugitives from Saxony joined the insurgents in Baden and 
Rhinish Bavaria. These two countries agreed to form 
an alliance for mutual defense, under the direction and 
military leadership of Baden. Under this agreement the 
military forces of the two countries were organized into six 
divisions, with a total strength for active duty of about 25,- 
000 men. Those of Rhinish Bavaria formed the Sixth Di- 
vision, under the command of Gen. Sznayde. Ten thou- 
sand volunteers more of the fugitives from Saxony were or- 
ganized ; soldiers deserted in many places and swelled the 
ranks of the Revolutionists, who, for a period of about a 
month had things all their own way. 

Meantime, Prussia, Hesse-Darmstadt and Nassau gath- 
ered up their forces, 70,000 infantry, 7,000 cavalry and 


126 pieces of artillery, under command of Prince William 
of Prussia, and concentrated them along the northern bor- 
ders of Baden and the adjoining states in rebellion ; a few 
preliminary skirmishes took place on the southern frontier 
of Darmstadt, and finally, in the latter part of June, the 
armies of invasion approached in force along both shores 
of the Ehine, and also crossed the Bavarian line in two 
columns from the north and west, converging as they 
advanced. The fortress of Landau had remained in pos- 
session of the loyal troops of Bavaria, notwithstanding a 
bold attempt to capture it, and with such a dangerous en- 
emy in the rear, it was not considered safe to risk any de- 
cisive engagement in its vicinity ; the Kevolutionary forces 
retreated, therefore, slowly before the invading armies, 
and after a few unimportant engagements, crossed the 
Ehine opposite Carlsruhe, and joined the better-organized 
and much larger forces in the Duchy of Baden. The 
plan was to surround the army of the Eevolutionists by a 
concentric movement from the north, east and west. 
The Eevolutionary army was at that time posted in the 
fork of the Neckar and Rhine, from Mannheim to Heidel- 
berg, with a small detached corps further east in the 
mountains, and consisted of about 25,000 men, of whom 
15,000 were revolted regular troops who had taken sides 
with the people. The others were volunteers, hastily as- 
sembled and armed. Could they have procured arms 
enough, they could have put many more in the field — 
50,000, easily — but their resources were limited. 

Against the projected movement of the army under 
the Prince of Prussia Gen. Mieroslawski proposed to hold 
his position, defend the line of the Neckar, and throw 
himself against the first corps which would pass that river 


or the Shine. He allowed the Prince of Prussia to cross 
the Shine from the fortress of Germersheim, but on the 
same day, which was the 20th of June, marched against 
him with 15,000 men, 10 squadrons of cavah*y, and 28 
pieces of artillery, leaving about 10,000 men to guard 
the line of the Neckar against Von Groeben and Von 
Peuker, and to protect the crossing of the Shine, in 
the neighborhood of Mannheim against the corps of the 
Prince of Thum and Taxis. When the Prince of Prussia 
crossed near Germersheim, he left one division near Wie- 
senthal and Waghausel, and with three divisions marched 
east toward Graben. On the morning of the 21st of June 
the revolutionists assaulted the division left near Wag- 
hausel, and totally defeated it. During this affair the 
present Emperor of Prussia, who had accompanied his 
father, William, on this expedition, was slightly wounded. 
After another engagement near Upstadt between the 
Sevolutionary troops from Bavaria and the Prussians, the 
combined forces of the rebellion took a second position 
near the fortress Eastadt and behind the river Murgh, 
where, on the 28th, 29th and 30th a battle was fought 
against the united three corps of the enemy. The troops 
fought very bravely, but while they were fighting in front 
Von Peuker marched into their rear and compelled them 
to change their position to meet him. In brief, they were 
overpowered. After that battle, and when Ehe troops 
were on the retreat to Offenberg, some dissatisfaction 
arose in regard to the management of the army by Gen. 
Mieroslawski, and besides, he had given up all hope of 
success. He therefore resigned, and Gen. Sigel was again 
put in command of the forces. They made great exer- 
tions to retrieve their losses and continue the war, but 


the Revolutionary army was not now over 8,000 strong. 
Political dissensions broke out among the leaders, whicli 
lead finally to a separation of the troops. A large part 
of the army took shelter in the fortress of Bastadt, 
where they withstood a siege of nearly a month, while 
the remainder, constantly diminished by desertion, re- 
treated slowly before the advancing Prussians and other 
German troops, through the Black Forest to the borders of 
Switzerland, where they were disarmed by the Swiss 
authorities and permitted to take refuge in the different 
Cantons of the Confederation. Of the army of 25,000 
men, about 10,000 crossed the Ehine into Switzerland, and 
now the work of " pacification " and revenge under the 
special care and authority of Prince WiUiam began. Prus- 
sian drumhead courts-martial took charge of the unfor- 
tunate prisoners who had laid down their arms and were 
now at the mercy of the conqueror. Of those who had 
surrendered at Rastadt, nineteen were sentenced to death 
and shot. Three were shot in Mannheim, five in Freiburg 
and one in Landau ; sixty-six were sentenced to ten years' im- 
prisonment ; besides this, 10,000 persons were criminally 
prosecuted, and, when found guilty, their property was 
confiscated. During 1849 and 1850 Baden alone lost 100,000 
inhabitants by fleeing from the hands of their persecut- 
ors or by voluntary exile. 

The rank and file were quartered and subsisted at the 
expense of the Swiss Government, until they gradually 
took advantage of the proffered pardon and returned 
home. The leaders, who could not return, settled down 
temporarily in various parts of Switzerland; but in the 
spring of 1850 the Swiss Government, under pressure from 
its surrounding neighbors, induced, under the promise of 


assistance, the greater number to leave the country. A 
general exodus followed; Holland, Belgium, South 
America and England were sought by many, but by far 
the greater number embarked for the United States at once. 
Says M. J. Becker, one of the Forty-eighters and now 
Chief Engineer of the St. Louis & Pittsburgh Eailroad 
Company, and who with GeneralSigel has furnished the fol- 
lowing biographies of the Revolutionists who fled to this 
country : " The struggles, hardships, privation and suffer- 
ings endured by most of these men during the earlier 
days of their American exj)erience would form extremely 
* interesting, but in many instances very sad, chapters in the 
histories of their checkered lives. Many fell by the wayside 
exhausted, and died of want in the crowded cities of the 
Eastern coast; some, in utter despair, cut short, with 
their own hands, the hopeless misery of their wretched 
existence. That the occupations which some were forced 
to accept did not in all cases afford opportunities for im- 
proving the advantages of their earlier education may be 
readily imagined. 

Says Mr. Becker, " I remember well, that in my own 
case, while I was trinmiing toothsome bunches of bright 
red early^ radishes, and tying up bundles of fragrant young 
onions for the daily market, long before the rising of the 
summer sun, upon a garden farm on Long Island, I often 
bewailed the misdirected applications of my early 
youth ; and even the mathematical tracing of the parallel 
furrows for the transplanting of beets and cabbages, and 
the engineering precision displayed in the setting out of 
the succulent tomato vines, failed to satisfy my profes- 
sional ambition ; nor did I consider the compensation of 
four dollars per month for fifteen hours of daily toil an 


adequate reward for skilled labor like this. It is true, 
I had board and lodging besides. The board, I am bound 
to say, was inferior in kind, though ample in quantity ; 
but the lodging was on a most liberal ^cale. I had the 
whole of Long Island to sleep on, with millions of mos- 
quitoes sweetly singing their lullabys, 

" One day I met, in the lower part of New York, a 
young sculptor, who in his early youth had been a school- 
fellow of mine, and who, while pursuing his studies at the 
Academy of Fine Arts in Paris, had been drawn into the 
common whirlpool of rebellion, and after drifting about 
for a while in Belgium and England, had arrived in 
America a short time before. Although still quite young, 
he had achieved remarkable success, and had been 
rewarded with a prize medal in recognition of his talent 
and genuis. We were glad to see each other. After a 
rapid exchange of experiences, I ventured to ask how he 
was prospering in his profession. * Ah, you should come 
to my studio and see for yourself,' he said ; ' I am just now 
engaged in putting the last finishing touches upon some 
magnificent masterpieces of plastic art; you must see 
them before they leave my studio.' Eesponding to his 
invitation, I found him, a few days afterwards, in a low, 
dingy back room of a small carpenter shop in Greenwich 
Street, busily engaged in rubbing down with sandpaper 
the colossal limbs of a wooden Pocahontas, destined to 
adorn the entrance door of a tobacco shop." 

But in accordance with the law of natural selection, in 
the universal struggle for existence, the fittest will always 
survive : and the following sketches of some of these men 
of Baden prove the axiom. 

General Von Mieroslawski. The General was a 
highly educated man, full of fire and courage, a great 


speaker, and excellent strategist; but he did not under- 
stand the language of the people of the country and of 
the soldiers with whom he had to act, and had not suf- 
ficient experience in the tactical management of troops. 
He was very patriotic, and served the Revolutionary cause 
with great faithfulness. He was at that time 34 years of 
age, had taken part in the Polish Revolution of 1831, in 
the insurrections in Posen and Sicily in 1848, and has writ- 
ten several works, among them one on "Revolutionary 
War," which is regarded as the best of its kind. Mieroslaw- 
ski again took part in an insurrectionary movement in Po- 
land in 1863, and died in Paris 1878. 

General Sigel crossed the Rhine at Eglisau, near the 
Canton of Schafhausen, on the 11th day of July, with 
4,000 men and 32 guns, lived an exile in Switzerland, 
Italy and England, whence he emigrated to America in 
1862 (after the c(yup d^etat of Louis Napoleon) and ar- 
rived at New York on the 5th of May, where he soon 
found employment as a civil engineer. When war was 
declared between the North and the South, he was placed 
in command of a brigade in Missouri. His famous retreat 
from Carthage, in Missouri, in July, 1861, before Governor 
Jackson's superior forces, was a skillfully-executed artil- 
lery maneuver — this being the arm of the service in 
which Sigel had been especiaUy trained. At Wilson's 
Creek and Pea Ridge his professional acquirements again 
came in good play on a limited scale, and brought his 
name into such prominence, that, when the Army of Vir- 
ginia was organized in June, 1862, under Pope, Sigel was 
assigned to the command of the First Corps, after Fremont, 
who was unwilling to serve under Pope, had resigned. 
Between Pope and Sigel frequent misunderstandings arose 

Kdifer IPiHtelm T. 
Emperor WUllua I. 


regarding the meaning of ordere on the one side, and their 
interpretation and execution on the other, which led to 
ill-natured reproaches on the part of Pope, with com 
plimentary returns by Sigel. 

After the second battle at Bull Eun, Pope was re- 
lieved by McClellan just prior to the Antietam campaign, 
during which campaign Sigel commanded the Eleventh 
corps of the reorganized army, a circumstance which 
goes to prove tliat Pope's war upon Sigel was entirely 
the result of personal prejudice. 

Since the war the General has lived in New York. 
Onc^ or twice he has taken part in political campaigns, 
speaking to the Germans, and defending the Democratic 
side of the issue since Tilden's nomination. He has held 
various offices in the City of New York, Register of Deeds 
and on the Board of Public Works, and is now serving the 
Government of the United States as Pension Agent for 
the district of New York City. He is a man of great 
acquirements, speaking several languages, and a writer of 
merit, a genial gentleman and honorable man. 

Fbedebick Heckeb. Hecker, mortified and sorely dis- 
appointed, took refuge in America, and settled, with a 
few of his immediate friends, near Belleville, in Illinois. 

He had been the leader and Parliamentary champion 
of the people in that first crude and primitive specimen of 
representative government in Germany — the Chamber of 
Deputies of the Grand Duchy of Baden — for six j^ears 
prior to 1848. Eloquent, sincere, enthusiastically devoted 
to the people by whom he had been chosen, he enjoyed, in 
return, a popularity seldom gained by mortal man. Of 
handsome presence, graceful figure and impressive coun- 
tenance, frank in speech, prompt in action, he was idol- 


ized by men and women alike. The famous Hecker Song 
could be heard upon the highways and byways of South- 
ern Germany, in village and city, sung early and late, by 
young and by old, with enthusiastic fervor, and encored 
to the echo. 

Of sanguine temperament himself, personally brave 
and fearless to a fault, it is not surprising that he, flattered 
by every possible manifestation of popular devotion, and 
believing firmly in the righteousness of his cause, did not 
only count upon the fullest support of his own people, but 
confidently expected to win over to his side the very sol- 
diers who were sent to destroy him. How deep must 
have been his grief, how sore his mortification, at the sad 
failure of his effort. * 

When our own Rebellion broke out, Frederick Hecker 
hastened to the defense of his adopted country with a full 
regiment of men enlisted by himself. The Eighty-second 
Illinois, or the Hecker regiment, as it was called, composed 
principally of German soldiers, did credit to itself and to 
its commander throughout the war, from which he returned 
at its close, with a severe wound, and crippled for life. 

The honest sinceritv and enthusiastic fervor with 
which he performed his duties, and which frequently as- 
sumed a degree of energy bordering on vehemence, led 
him occasionally into ludicrous and embarrassing situations. 

At the re-election of Abraham Lincoln, in the fall of 
1864, Hecker ordered his regiment out in full dress, armed 
and equipped, and marched the men to the polls, with bay- 
onets fixed, drums beating, and colors flying; and the sol- 
diers voted for "Old Abe" to a man. When Mr. Lincoln, 
who had known Hecker weU as a neighbor in Illinois, 
heard of this he felt greatly annoyed, and sent for bim| 


and remonstrated with him for committing such a flagrant 
breach of propriety. Hecker quite seriously and earnestly 
contended that there was nothing wrong in his conduct;, 
if it was proper to vote at all, it could not be im2)roper to 
do it in good style ; and, as a justifying precedent, he told 
Mr. Lincoln that in the days of ancient Home the legions 
always emphasized their sufifrage by striking their brazen 
shields with their swords. But honest "Old Abe" did not 
seem to appreciate the application and failed to see the 
similarity between a regiment of Suckers from Western 
Illinois and a Roman legion; nor would he admit the 
semblance between himself and an imperial Caesar. 

After Hecker's return from his four years' service in 
the army, he found that the quiet life on the farm no 
longer agreed with him ; his crippled condition interfered 
with his occupation, and the idle hours dragged heavily. 
For a season he sought relief and diversion in a lecturing 
tour, but met with indifferent success ; the subjects chosen 
for his discourses, although treated with consummate, 
scholarly skill, were not adapted to his audiences ; his place 
was the tribune, not the platform. 

Shortly after the Franco-German war Hecker made a 
visit to his old home in Germany, where he was enthusias- 
tically received by his former friends and neighbors, with 
whom he rejoiced heartily over the final realization of his 
hopes, the recently-accomplished uniiication of Germany. 

After his return to America he gradually retired from 
active life ; the infirmities of old age, attended sometimes 
with intense suffering, crept on apace, and he died a few 
years ago at his country home, near Belleville, honored by 
all who ever knew him, for his uncompromising honesty 
and his sterling integrity. 


LoRENz Brentano, who occupied, during the insurrec- 
tion of 1848, the position of President of the Provisional 
Government, and who still lives in Chicago, was bom at 
Mannheim, in the Grand Duchy of Baden, in 1813. He 
received a classical education, studied jurisprudence at 
Heidelberg and Freiburg, and after graduating practiced 
law before the Supreme Court of the State. He first dis- 
tinguished himself as leading counsel for the defense in 
the celebrated state trial against Gustavo von Struve, for 
high treason. After attaining the legal age he was elected 
to tlie Chamber of Deputies, where he soon became the 
recognized leader of the opposition party. 

In 1848 he was elected to Parliament, and after the 
outbreak m 1848 he became President of the Revolutionary 
Government, for which he was condemned in contuma- 
ciajn to imprisonment for life. After his emigration to 
this country he settled upon a farm in Kalamazoo County, 
Michigan ; in 1859 he removed to Chicago and commenced 
the practice of law ; in 1862 he served as a member of the 
Illinois Legislature, and after the expiration of his term 
he became a member of the Chicago Board of Education. 

He was a delegate, in 1868, to the National Republi- 
can Convention which nominated Grant and Colfax, 
before which time he was also editor-in-chief and prin- 
cipal proprietor of the lUinola Stdots Zeitu?ig. In 1869 he 
took advantage of the general amnesty and paid a visit to 
his native country, from which he returned to recover 
what was left of his property by the great Chicago fire. 

From 1871 to 1876 he served as United States Consul 
at Dresden, and afterwards was elected to the 46th Con- 
gress as a member from the Chicago City District. 

I happened to be present in the winter of 1848 at a 


very amusing and somewhat exciting scene, in which 
Brentano played a conspicuous part. In the course of a 
speech, which he delivered on this occasion in Parliament, 
ho alluded in rather disrespectful language to the Crown 
Prince of Prussia (the late Emperor), who had just 
then returned from his short exile in England, when a 
young aristocratic member, a nobleman of high rank, took 
exceptions to Brentano's remarks, and in a greatly excited 
manner challenged him right there and then for daring to 
insult the brother of his King. Brentano looked calmly 
at his assailant, and said in a quiet and dignified tone : 
"Well, if this little case between the Prince and myself is 
to be settled by proxy, I will send my coachman to fight 
you ; what time would it suit you to meet him?" 

Carl Sohurz, on account of his superior education, and 
by virtue of his unquestioned talent and great natural 
ability, has become the foremost representative German in 
America. The self-sacrificing devotion which he displayed, 
when, after having safely escaped capture, he bravely risked 
his own life in the rescue of his imprisoned friend, Gott- 
fried Kinkel, called forth the exercise of the highest 
courage and the most heroic perseverance. 

At the commencement of the Revolutionary movement 
in 1848, Schurz was a student at the University of Bonn, 
where his friend, Professor Kinkel, was reading lectures on 
literature. The outbreak in 1849 brought both to the seat 
of war, where Kinkel enlisted in Willich's corps of volun- 
teer^ and fell, during the battle at Ilastadt,into the hands 
of the Prussians, dangerously wounded. Schurz served 
as aide to Frederick Anneke, who had assumed command 
of the artiUery in the fortress. After the retreat of the 
army from the field around Rastadt, the fortress was 


invested and besieged, and finally capitulated. But during 
the night preceding the final surrender, Sohurz made his 
escape through sewers and ditches and crossed the Rhine in 
safety. Kinkel, who was a Prussian subject and soldier, and 
who had been captured while fighting against the army of 
his sovereign, was sentenced to be shot, and would have 
been executed if he had not been rescued by Schurz's dar- 
ing effort. They finally landed in England, where Kinkel 
remained ; but Schurz soon came to America and settled 
at Watertown, in Wisconsin. His general ability, espe- 
cially his eloquence, soon brought him into prominence, 
and as early as 1856 he carried by storm such far-famed 
masters of oratory as Sumner and Wendell Phillips by a 
speech which he made at a banquet in Boston. In 1860 
he was a delegate to the National Convention which nom- 
inated Lincoln, whom he ardently supported during that 
memorable canvass which resulted in his election. After 
the inauguration, Schurz was appointed Minister to Spain, 
which office he soon resigned to take a command in the 
army. His military service, although not distinguished 
for any particularly remarkable achievements, has been 
uniformly honorable and creditable. In August, 1862, he 
commanded the Third Division of Sigel's First Corps during 
Pope's campaign at Manassas. In May, 1863, he fought 
at Chancellorsville at the head of a division in the Eleventh 
Corps ; in July of the same year he was at Gettysburg, 
where he assumed temporary command of the entire Elev- 
enth Corps, when General Howard, after Reynolds' death, 
was placed in charge of the First, Third and Eleventh 
Corps combined; on the first day of that battle Schurz 
displayed great personal courage in attempting to rally 
the routed troops of his corps, and on the second day he 


repulsed a fierce attack of the rebels upon Cemetery Hill, 
where his headquarters were. 

Transferred with General Hooker, to the West, he 
fought before Chattanooga in September, and in Novem- 
ber took part in the storming of Missionary Ridge. 

After the close of the war he was sent by President 
Johnson, together with Generals Grant and Thomas, upon 
a commission of inspection into the Southern States, to 
report upon their condition and ascertain the sentiments 
of the people. During his term in the United States Sen- 
ate he gave offense to the ultra-Republicans by his open 
advocacy of a conciliatory policy towards the South ; his 
speeches on the San Domingo Treaty and on the German 
Arms question were masterpieces of brilliant oratory and 
logical argument. As a Cabinet Minister during the un- 
eventful administration of President Hayes, he conducted 
the affairs of his department on plain but strict business 
principles, and left the public service with the undisputed 
reputation of being an honest man. He has been a strong 
advocate of a civil service in the United States exempt 
from political influence. Forty years after his escape from 
Prussian justice he returns to Berlin, and is received with 
distinction by the Prime Minister of Prussia — Prince 

Alexandeb Souihhelpfennio. The secret agitations 
which for a number of years preceded the final outbreak in 
Baden, extended in some few instances among the officers 
of the Prussian army. The principal centers of this move- 
ment were in Westphalia and among the garrisons along 
the Lower Rhine ; the officers of the artillery regiments 
stationed in Cologne, Wesel, MUnster and Minden were 
especially affected. Some of the officers of the infantry 


also caught the contagion. As the movement spread, it 
became more and more difficult to maintain secrecy ; dis^ 
coveries were made by spies and detectives, followed by 
peremptory dismissals of some and the forced resignation 
of othera. The Seventh Regiment of Artillery was almost 
dismembered by dismissals of its officers during the years 
of 1846 and 1847. Among them were August WUlich, 
Joseph Weidemeyer and Frederick Anneke. 

Among the infantry officers who left the service about 
that time was Alexander Schimmelpfennig. He had been 
a lieutenant in the Twenty-ninth Regiment of Infantry, 
stationed in the City of Coblentz. He was then quite young, 
short and lithe of stature, blonde and fair, aggressive, 
combative, a little haughty, but genial, and quite dashing, 
the very picture and ideal of the sub-lieutenant of the Prus- 
sian army. His silky, cream-colored mustache was curled 
up defiantly at both ends, and he carried his dimpled chin 
high up in the air. After a few days he was assigned by 
the Provisional Government of Trans-Rhenish Bavaria to 
the command of some of the regular troops who had gone 
over to the Revolutionary side, and of the volunteers who 
were flocking in from all parts of thecountry, and which he 
stationed along the Prussian frontier, with headquarters at 
Zweibrucken. While Schimmelpfennig drilled his recruits. 
Engineer Becker assisted Dr. Weiss in collecting the reve- 
nue from the adjacent coal mines and salt works, by a pro- 
cess so expeditious and prompt that it could properly be 
classed under the head of " direct taxation," This lasted 
for about three weeks, but one fine morning two Prussian 
columns marched over the border, under the command 
of the Cro^vn Prince of Prussia, scattered Schimmelpfen- 
nig's regulars and volunteers, and while he was trying to 
check the rout, a Prussian rifle ball pierced his leg. 

Kaiferin llngufla. 
Empreas AugusU. 


In the Spring of 1861 he enlisted a German regiment 
for the war, and served as colonel under Sigel in the Army 
of the Potomac during the campaign of Gen. Pope ; fought 
bravely at Groveton, and was promoted for gallantry at 
the second battle of Bull Bun. At Chance] lorsville he 
commanded the first brigade of Schurz's Division of the 
Eleventh Corps. At Gettysburg he commanded Schurz's 
Division on the first day, and fought with distinction upon 
Cemetery Eidge on the second day of that battle. In Feb- 
ruary, 1864, he was sent to St. John's Island, in Charleston 
Harbor, and in February, 1865, he entered that rebel- 
lious city at the head of his division, the first Union soldier 
to set foot upon its streets since the firing on Sumter. 

His health had become seriously impaired during the 
last year of the war, and he died from the effects of his 
exposures in the swamps of South Carolina, in September, 
1865, at Minersville, Pa. 

Frederick Kapp. But the brightest, most genial and 
truly lovable character of all was Frederick Kapp. He 
was bom in the town of Hamm, in the Prussian Province 
of Westphalia, where his father was principal of the Gym- 
nasium, as the German colleges are called. Whoever has 
traveled through that part of Germany, must have been 
attracted by the singular beauty and physical perfection of 
its people. Tall of stature, muscular and erect in carriage, 
with rosy cheeks and fair complexions, clear blue eyes and 
curling hair of golden hue, the very peasants are models 
of statuesque beauty and grace ; and of this type, Kapp 
was a superior specimen. 

Full of health and manly strength, his kindly eyes 
fairly aglow with merriment and good humor, he delighted 
^o tell his jolly stories and deliver his witty sallies in that 


peculiar lisping Westphalian accent, which to a Southern 
German has always a peculiar charm. His features were 
clear-cut, regular and expressive of strength and charac- 
ter, but his good-natured smile secured him at first sight 
the lasting friendship of all ; nor did the deep-cut scar 
on his right cheek, a relic of his Heidelberg University days, 
mar in the least his handsome face. 

Completing at an early age his college studies under 
the immediate tuition of his excellent father, he studied 
jurisprudence first at Heidelberg and then at Berlin, where 
he also served his military time as volunteer in the 
Artillery of the Guard. He had just been assigned to duty 
as a young advocate of the Superior Court in his native 
town of Hamm when the Revolution of 1848 broke out in 
Paris and spread over Germany with lightning speed. 
After taking an active part in the agitation preceding the 
elections, he took up his residence in Frankflirt at the as- 
sembling of Parliament in that city, where he remained as 
correspondent for some of the leading journals' of the day, 
until the bloody insurrection in September, during which 
Count Lychnovski and Baron von Auerswald, reactionary 
members of Parliament, were killed, when he found it 
prudent to remove to Paris, which was just then begin- 
ning to be agitated by the movement which resulted in the 
election of Louis Napoleon as President in the following 

During the winter of 1848 and 1849, Kapp remained in 
Paris, engaged as correspondent for various journals and 
contributor to several German periodicals. 

In May and June, 1848, while the Revolutionists were 
in the field in Southern Germany, Kapp came over once 
or twice, but did not take any active part in that cam- 


paign; but after its disastrous conclusion, he escaped to 
Geneva, and lived in the family of the famous Russian 
revolutionist, Alexander Herzen, whose literary works he 
prepared for publication, while at the same time, he was 
entrusted with the education of Herzen's young son. 
Early in 1S50 he came to New York, where he first en- 
gaged in literary work, publishing among other works a 
clear and concise history of slavery in the United States, 
which little volume contributed largely to the enlighten- 
ment of the German population on this important topic, 
which just then occupied such a large share in the political 
affairs of this country. He wrote the lives of Baron Steu- 
ben and De Kalb, both of which were translated into 
English, and obtained quite an extensive circulation. 
Later, when he had been appointed Commissioner of Emi- 
gration, he wrote a general history of emigration, which 
contains much interesting statistical information. 

Eapp returned to his native country about the time of 
the Franco-German war, and was soon afterward elected 
to the Imperial Parliament, in which he served with credit 
to himself, and to the recognized satisfaction of his con- 
stituents, until the time of his death, about three years ago. 

August Willich. Among the Prussian officers who were 
dismissed for participation in political movements, was 
Captain August Willich, of the Seventh Regiment of Artil- 
lery. He was of noble birth, and the descendant of a 
long line of soldiers distinguished for bravery in the mili- 
tary service of their country. In the Spring of 1848, 
he joined the forces under Hecker, in Baden, and, after a 
short exile in France, he returned in September with 
Gustavo Struve, for a second attempt, and after the failure 
of that invasion, he retired with a number of his men to 


the town of Besangon, on the western slope of the Jura 
Mountains, which here form the boundary between Switzer- 
land and France. Here he organized his fellow exiles into 
a military company, and drilled them as only he could 
drill. When the general uprising took place in May, 1849, 
Willich reported promptly for duty with his body of 
refugees, veterans in rebellion, and took a prominent part 
in the two days' engagement at Kastadt. After the retreat 
of the army into Switzerland, Willich again retired to 
Besan9on, but was soon compelled by the French Govern- 
ment to leave ; whereupon he embarked for England some 
time in 1850, and after a year or two came to America, 
where he found employment in one of the engineering 
parties of the Coast Survey. Subsequently he came to 
Cincinnati, and engaged in journalism. At the outbreak of 
our own Civil War, Willich enlisted at once in Robert Mo- 
Cook's Ninth Ohio Eegiment, which was largely composed 
of soldiers trained in the armies of Germany. He was 
appointed Adjutant, and when that regiment left Camp 
Dennison for the seat of war in West Virginia, there was 
not its equal among the volunteer forces in the service 
for general efficiency. While engaged in the West Vir- 
ginia campaign, Willich attracted the attention of Gov- 
ernor Morton, of Indiana, who offered him the Colonelcy 
of the Thirty-second Eegiment of Infantry from that State, 
which he accepted, and in command of which he remained 
until promoted to a higher rank. 

It is no exaggeration to say, that, as a soldier, Willich 
was perfection itself, and it is no disparagement, for it is 
but the simple truth, to add, that he was absolutely unfit 
for anything else. It was inspiring to see him draw his 
sword and it was positively humiliating to see his awk- 


ward attempts at the performance of the simplest duties of 
ordinary life. He fought at Perry ville under Alexander 
McCook ; at Stone Kiver he was captured, in consequence 
of his anxiety to report personally to his chief the move- 
ments of some rebel ti*oops on his flank, which led him to 
ride to headquarters alone, and his running straight into the 
enemy's lines on his return. At Mumfordville, the superior 
training of his regiment enabled it to resist, though scat- 
tered out in skirmish line, a sudden and very fierce attack 
of a regiment of Texas Rangers, killing its Colonel and 
repulsing the troopers with heavy loss. This little fight is 
described as one of the most brilliant achievements of 
the war. 

Willich arrived at Shiloh in command of the Thirty- 
second Indiana early on Monday morning, and at once 
made a gallant attack on the enemy, but met with stubborn 
resistance. Finding that under the heavy fire some of 
his men began to lose self-control, he stepped in front, and 
for fully ten minutes drilled them in the manual of arms, 
as he said, to cool them off, and make them steady, and 
then continued the fight. 

It is sufdcient to say, that at Chickamauga he was 
with Thomas. In one of the engagements near Atlanta 
he received a severe wound in his upper right arm, which 
disabled him for active service, and upon his partial recov- 
ery, he was placed in command of the post of Cincinnati, 
where he remained until the close of the war. He left the 
army a Brigadier-General. 

Having saved something, and being of frugal habits, 
he managed to live abroad for several years after the war, 
attending lectures on philosophy at the University in the 
same city of Berlin where, nearly fifty years before, he 


had studied the science of war as a youthful cadet. Upon 
his return to this country he settled in the quiet little vil- 
lage of Saint Marys, Ohio, near some old friends of his 
soldier days, and pursued, with the enthusiasm of a 
school-boy, the studies he had commenced at the Berlin 
University, spending his .leisure in frolicsome playj* 
with the children of the village, whose dearest friend 
he was. 

One night he retired in good health and spirits, and 
the next morning he was missed by the children at the 
play-ground. He had died during the night, apparently 
without a struggle. 

Carl Heinzen was a distinguished journalist and an 
accomplished writer of wonderful force and influence; 
concise and clear in his statements, logical and convincing 
in his arguments, bitter and fierce in his denunciations, 
and relentless in his persecution ; a severe, uncompromising 
critic — a man to be admired, but feared rather than loved. 

His prolific pen had kept the German censors busy for 
many years prior to the Revolution. Most of his publica- 
tions were confiscated, on general principles, as soon as they 
left the press, unless they had already been seized by the 
police in the composing room. 

Physically, he was a man of gigantic frame, six feet or 
more in height, able-bodied and strong; but there was no 
fight in him. He seemed to feel that his pen was mightier 
than his sword, and he preferred to attack the enemy at 
long range with fierce pronunciamentos and soul stirring 
harangues ; but never a drop of blood would he spill -^ 
neither the enemy's nor his own ; and while the rest of the 
rebels fought and than ran away in order to live and 
fight some other day, Heinzen, who had never fought at 


all, ran away with the others, but evidently more 
with a view of saving his life for the time being than 
with the intention of renewing the fight at some future 

During his refuge in Geneva, he lived at Grand Pr^, on 
the hedge-lined road to Petit-Sacconnex, near the county- 
seat of Albert Galere, whose hospitable house was made the 
cheerful home for many a wanderer during the dreary 
winter of 1849. At a little cabaret, where the red wine 
from Tessin and the purple-tinted melange from Canton de 
Vaux were sold so cheap that even the poverty-stricken 
members of the so-called " Brimstone Club,'' could afford 
to drink them on credit, Heinzen was a frequent guest. 

He reached New York, after a short stay in England, 
during the year 1851, and after publishing a newspaperin 
that city for a few years, he moved to Boston, where he 
continued its publication with considerable success, until the 
time of his death, about nine years ago. 

Oswald Ottendorfeb. "When Oswald Ottendorfer came 
to Kaiserslautem in May, 1849, to offer his services to the 
Provisional Government, he wore the uniform of the 
Academic Legion of the University of Vienna, where he had 
been a student, and where he had taken part in the insur- 
rection of the previous year and in the more recent move- 
ments in concert with Kossutli's operations in Hungary. 
He served during the ensuing campaign in Southern 
Germany as a volunteer, and eventually became, like all 
the rest, an exile in Switzerland, whence he emigrated to 
America some time in 1850. Peddling, in utter want and 
sheer desperation, baskets of gorgeously-labeled beverages 
of doubtful composition, was the first occupation Otten- 
dorfer engaged in. But fortune never smiled upon a 


worthier and more deserving man. His newspaper, the 
New York Staats ZeiPung^ has an immense circulation, and 
is read by the German people without distinction of 
party ; its democratic spirit, and the great ability with 
which it is edited, form a pleasing contrast with the 
prevailing journalism of the day, while the high per- 
sonal character of its publisher, and his acknowledged 
sterling integrity are a source of pride to his immediate 
countrymen, and his genial, tender-hearted kindness is 
the pleasure and delight of his numberless friends and 

Blenker. Blenker appears to have been a soldier of 
fortune from earliest youth. When a mere boy he served 
as a volunteer in Greece, during her heroic struggle of de- 
liverance from the yoke of the Turks. During the Summer 
of 1848 he drilled a militia company in the town of Worms, 
famous for its cathedral and for that memorable trial in 
which Luther told his judges, " if this is the work of men, 
it will crumble to pieces of its own accord, but if it is the 
work of God, it is vain for you to oppose it." And when, 
in May, 1849, the news reached Blenker of the flight of 
the Grand Duke of Baden, he promptly marched his mili- 
tia company up the river to Ludwigshafen and seized the 
little garrison at the Bavarian end of the bridge which 
crosses the Rhine at Mannheim. He was a dashing fellow, 
sitting well in the saddle, too proud to be anything but 
brave. He made a bold attempt on one bright Sundaj^ morn- 
ing to storm the Fortress of Landau, but after receiving a 
few rounds of grape shot from the ramparts of the fort, 
he reconsidered his plan and concluded to let Landau 
alone. He commanded, as well as any one could command 
such a body, a large force of heterogeneous volunteers. 


and his energetic, pale-faced little wife rode by his side 
through all that campaign, from Zweibrucken, on the line 
between France and Bavaria, through the Palatinate, 
across the Ehine, down to Mannheim, back to Bastadt and 
over the shady hills of the Black Forest, and past the 
lihine into Switzerland. 

Just where Blenker spent the short interval between the 
close of the war of 1849 and his arrival in New York in 
1851, is not known, but after that, the dairy farm which 
he cultivated in Orange County, on the Hudson, where 
free buttermilk and aromatic cheese were dispensed in 
most generous measures to his visiting friends, was his 
abiding place. 

He evidently was on nand again promptly in 1861, 
for we read of his covering the retreat from Bull Run 
toward Washington. Early in 1862 he commanded a 
division during the operations of the army in the Shenan- 
doah Valley, but during the latter part of the Avar his 
health failed, and he died before its final conclusion. 

Joseph Weydemeyeb was one of those obnoxious 
Prussian artillery officers whose resignations were de- 
manded somewhere in 1847. In 1848 he was employed 
on the Cologne-Minden Railroad as engineer. After the 
defeat of the revolutionary movements in 1849, he came 
to New.York, where he engaged in journalistic enterprises, 
settled subsequently in Milwaukee, and returned to New 
York in 1860, under an appointment as engineer of the 
Central Park Commission. In 1861 he enlisteded under 
Fremont, in St. Louis, where at first he took charge of the 
fortifications in that vicinitv, and afterward received a 
Lieutenant-Colonel's commission in the Second Regiment 
of Missouri Artillery, in which capacity he spent a long 


time in Western Missouri, fighting the guerrillas and 
bushwhackers. Toward the close of the war he com- 
manded the Fort^'-first Regiment of Missouri Infantry, 
and was also Commander of the })ost of St. Louis. 

In 1886 he was elected Auditor of St. Louis County, 
but he had barely entered upon his duties when he died 
of cholera, in the prime of his life. 

Max Webeb, who had been a Lieutenant in the 
Army of Baden, and his comrade, Schw«irz, who parted 
from his father when the latter followed the Grand 
Duke into exile, both performed gallant services in our 
army during the War of the Rebellion. Weber com- 
manded a brigade in General Sedgwick's division of Sum- 
ner's Second Corps at the battles of Fredericksburg and 
Antietam, and the bravery of Schwarz's battery of artil- 
lery during Grant's operations around Fort Donaldson 
and Vicksburg is honorably mentioned in the official 
reports of that campaign. 

Besides these few, whose lives have been briefly 
sketched, there have been and still are hundreds of others, 
scattered throughout all parts of this Western World, 
pursuing in modest ways their humble vocations, yet add- 
ing, to the best of their ability, their honest share to its 
material development and intellectual improvement. 

A few years more, and the last exile of '49 will have 
found refuge in the great asylum where extract it ion laws 
are unknown, and where, it is hoped, he will not be com- 
pelled to serve a probationary term prior to his full admis- 
sion to citizenship. But his children and his children's 
children will live on, assimilated, absorbed and American- 
ized, unmindful of their origiu and indifferent to their 


Thus, even the patriotic impulses of the German people 
for the possession of their inalienable rights, was suffocated 
m the blood of their most devoted sons. If the principles 
laid down in the American Declaration of Independence 
are based upon immutable truth, the uprising of the peoples 
of Europe against their oppressors in 1848 was as justi- 
fiable as the American Revolution against England's des. 
potism, and the hanging of the leading American patriots 
in case of failure, would not have been more inhuman and 
unjustifiable than the butchering of the German patriots at 
Rastadt and elsewhere. In this case, the resistance to over- 
come was so insignificant, that Prince William could well 
have aflforded to be magnanimous. However, peoples have 
short memories of past grievances, and the ghastly per- 
formances of 1849 have long since been effaced, if not 
condoned, by the glorious achievements of Prince William, 
who was alone held responsible for them. All these things 
are now forgotten, and the worst hated man in Berlin in 
1848, became the most beloved and honored man through- 
out Germany in 1888. 

The period preceding the Revolution of 1848-9 was one 
in which the intellectual activity and advancement of the 
Germans kept pace with that of every other nation, and in 
some respects outstripped them. Numerous scientific dis- 
coveries of practical utility infused new life into commer- 
cial and industrial enterprises. Professor Liebig gave a new 
impetus to researches in the branches of Natural Science 
and Chemistry, and Hegel gave to the philosophical world 
food for all ages of reflection, while the studies of the 
Grimm Brothers in the field of ethnological, religio-his- 
torical, and jurisprudence of the ancients, have challenged 
the admiration of the whole scholastic world. Among the 


celebrated historians of the period were Banke, Scblosser, 
Botteckand Frederick von Banmer. Of an army of poets 
the following names are most familiar to the reader: 
Uhland, Eockert, Immermann, Heine, Hafan, Freiligrath 
and HinkeL In no other country in the world has music 
made snch rapid progress as in Grcrmanj' daring these 
revolutionary years. The names of Beethoven, Von 
Weber, Schubert, Meyerbeer, Mendelssohn and Bartholdy 
are household friends wherever the harmony of sounds is 
cultivated, while the names of Germany's painters and 
sculptors are legion. 

It was in the year 1850 that success crowned the 
efforts of the King to come to some understanding with 
his people. After months of difficulty and disquietude, a 
new Constitution was published on the second day of 
February. This instrument defined the powers of King 
and Parliament and the duties of the Ministers of the 
Crown. Although many modifications were subsequently 
made, it formed the basis of the Constitution as now by 
law established. A Bepresentative Chamber, as well as a 
House of Peers, was provided for, and a great advance 
was made in the direction of universal suffrage, so that it 
may be said the Bevolution accomplished this much for 
a short time in the way of progress. 

As previously stated, the peace of Malmo did not intend 
to permanently adjust the Schleswig-Holstein difficulty, 
and in March, 1849, war against Denmark was renewed 
by the Duchies supported by German troops. The Danes 
were defeated at Kolding, the allies pursuing them to 
the fortifications of Fredricia. But for prudential rea- 
sons the war was not carried on with vigor by Prussia, 
and another armistice was agreed upon at Berlin and 


placed under a council presided over by an Englishman. 
A peace was concluded, and the Duchies returned to Dan- 
ish rule. The people, however, rejected the treaty, and 
resolving to rely upon their own strength, they marched 
tlieir whole force of 29,000 men, under General Willisen, to 
Idstadt, where thev were met and defeated bv the Danes. 
Although suflfering a loss of 6,000 killed the Danes refused 
to submit. The German Diet supported by Russia now 
ordered a cessation of hostilities, and Austrian troops were 
sent into the Duchies to enforce the order. 

In the meantime. King Frederick William IV. of Prus- 
sia had made an ineffectual effort to organize a new Ger- 
man union, of which the three kingdoms of Prussia, Sax- 
ony and Hanover should form the nucleus. But Austria, 
having suppressed the revolution at home, was stronger 
than ever before, while her foreign affairs had been in- 
trusted to the hands of an ardent and aggressive minister, 
an inveterate enemy of Prussia, Prince Schwarzenberg. 
This statesman was not only determined to defeat all 
attempts at separate organization of the smaller States 
under the leadership of Prussia, but to destroy, if possible, 
her influence in the affairs of Germany. Events as they 
transpired seemed to favor Schwarzenberg's plans. In 
the electorate of Hesse the people were engaged in a 
struggle for Constitutional reform against their reaction- 
ary prince, who was ably assisted by his unscrupulous 
minister, Hasenpflug. The King having repeatedly vio- 
lated the Constitution, the representatives refused to vote 
the budget, whereupon the Prince declared the country 
under martial law. But the troops stood by the represent- 
atives, refusing to break their allegiance to the Constitu- 
tion. The Prince now appealed to the Diet, when Austria 


and Bavaria sent troops to assist him. Prussia now 
marched troops into Cassel, and it appeared as if the de- 
cisive moment between Austria and Prussia for the mas- 
tery in Germany was at hand. Austria increased her 
armament in Bohemia, and Prussia made great military 
preparations. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Count Bran- 
denburg, was dispatched to the Czar at Warsaw to in- 
fluence this potentate in Prussia's favor, but instead of 
bread he was tendered a stone. The Count was received 
by the Czar with the most impudent demands. Prussia 
was asked to undo everything she had done toward favor- 
ing more liberal institutions in Germany. 

These audacious demands, and the grossly abusive 
manner in which they were made, so affected the brave 
Count Brandenburg as to cause nervous prostration, from 
which he died in the following month of November. 

Otto von Manteuffel having succeeded Brandenburg at 
the head of foreign affairs in Prussia, it soon became 
apparent that the policy of political retrogression had now 
fairly begun, and that Prussia's complete submission to Aus- 
trian and Russian dictation was only a question of time. 

The first step in this direction was the departure of 
Minister Manteuffel for Olmtttz on the 29th of November, 
where he met Prince Schwarzenberg, the Austrian pre- 
mier. Then the political surrender of Prussia took place, 
Manteuffel most graciously acceding in writing to all the 
demands made upon Count Brandenburg by the Czar, and 
promising to carry out the reactionary programme of rob-' 
biiig the Prussian people of their achievements as far as lay 
in his power. 

On the 12th of June, 1851, the Diet, which the people 
of Germany had long since believed to be defunct, again 


assembled. The representatives of the German sovereign- 
ties seemed to vie with each other in eagerness to destroy 
the last vestige of political progress made during the few 
years after the Revolution, and to re-establish the same 
order of things that had prevailed previous to March, 1848. 

In this assembly of notables sat a man representing 
the interests of King Frederick William IV., of Prussia, 
who appeared to care very little what the fate of the 
German Confederation should be as long as its destinies 
were controlled by the Hapsburg Dynasty. In his esti- 
mation, the concern was as rotten as could be, and the 
sooner it disappeared, in its prevailing condition at least, 
the better for Germany in general, and for Prussia in par- 
ticular. Although not making himself over-conspicuous, 
he was a close observer of the Diet's proceedings. In the 
fall of 1853, this Prussian delegate, in private letters to 
his sister, Mrs. Von Armin, wrote the following sarcastic 
lines, highly characteristic of him, showing the estimate 
in which the German Confederation of States was held 
by him : 

" I have accustomed myself to remain in a state of 
yawning innocence ; to bear, all unnoticed, symptoms of 
coldness, and to allow a state of mind of the utmost in- 
difference to govern me since the occasion when, I flatter 
myself, I was enabled, in no small degree, to successfully 
contribute towards impressing upon the Bund (Confeder- 
ation) a consciousness of its own insignificance. That 
well-known song of Heine, " O du Bund^ du Hund^ du 
hist nicht gesund^^^ etc. (" Oh Bund, thou Hound, thou art 
not sound") , w^ill soon be declared by unanimous consent, 
to be the national anthem of the Germans. 

" Your true brother, 

(VoN BiSMAEOK.) " V. B." 


Also, in the following letter, written on the 11th of 
September, 1856, Herr von Bismarck shows that he was 
fully cognizant of Austria's anti-German and perfidious 
diplomatic manoBuvqring. 

"In November, I fancy the Bund will dedicate its 
sittings to the Ilolsteiners, and with more good will than 
success. On the above subject the several governments 
will be outwardly unified. Austria, however, wiU re- 
main in secret the friend of the Danes, and in her press 
will have her mouth full of German phrases, and place 
the fault on Prussia that nothing is done. The center of 
gravity in this matter is, in fact, not at Frankfort, but in 
whether the Danes are sure of support from one or more 
of the non-German powers. If this is the case they will 
discover a legal flaw in the decision of the Bund. 

'^V. B." 

Upon this one point, however, the two rival powers — 
Prussia and Austria — ^agreed perfectly, to- wit : uix)n the 
question of a repressive policy at home, and to support 
any measure brought forward framed for the purpose of 
curtailing the rights already secured to the people of the 
different States. 

Thus, what wonder that the people of Germany began 
to look upon this assemblage of royal bosses, first with 
distrust, then with indifference, and finally with supreme 

A noted historian discribing the condition of political 
affairs in Germany at this time says : 

"Austrian influence was again in the ascendant in 
Germany, and was unscrupulously used for purposes which 
recall the time of Ferdinand II. The Austrian Constitu- 
tion was abolished, and every German monarch, who 


undertook reactionary measures, was sure of support 
from Austria and the Confederation. The power of Eome 
and of the Jesuits was restored. At the same time, 
Austria maintained a defiant and hostile tone toward 
Prussia ; strove to bind to itself the smaller States, and 
even to weaken and dissolve the Zollverein — the last bond 
of German union left in Prussia's hand. The people of the 
smaller German States seemed indifferent to these jealousies 
of the great Powers. Prussia took no part in the war of 
France and England against Eussia, from 1853 to 1855, 
having no reason for hostility to that Empire. Austria 
finally joined the Western Powers, and her threatening 
attitude hastened liussia's consent to humiliating terms of 
peace. Prussia was now checked in the path of her growth 
and progress, in which she had been moving on from the 
accession of Frederick William IV. The Constitution, 
indeed, was not overthrown, but the people were full of 
suspicion and discontent. The disgrace of the surrender 
at Olmtttz was felt as a second Jena. 

" During the time of Manteuffel's reactionary regime. 
Prince Wilhelm of Prussia had withdrawn from public 
view. He did not agree with the inexcusable, illiberal 
course of this Minister. In fact, he had publicly declared 
that ho was in favor of maintaining, in good faith, the 
privileges guaranteed to the people by the Constitution. 
But his principal care was given to the army, the organi- 
zation and perfection of which he watched with intense 
solicitude. On the 1st of January, 1807, shortly before 
entering upon the sixtieth year of his age, he celebrated the 
fiftieth anniversary of his service in the Prussian army. 
During this period of his retirement, a pleasant event 
enlivened the private circle of his family. On the 20th 


of September, 1856, his daughter Louisa was wedded to 
the Crown Prince of Baden, and in July the following 
year his son 'Fritz,' the present Emperor, was betrothed 
to Princess Victoria of Great Britain. Lord Palmerston 
considered that such a union would unquestionably be to 
the interests of the two countries immediately concerned 
and of Europe in general. In her Journal, tlie Queen 
gives the following interesting account of the betrothal, 
under date of September 29, 1855: 'Our dear Victoria 
was this day engaged to Prince Frederick William of 
Prussia, who had been on a visit to us since the 14th. 
He had already spoken to us, on the 20th, of his wishes ; 
but we were uncertain, on account of her extreme youth, 
whether he should speak to her himself, or wait till he 
came back again. However, we felt it was better he 
should do so, and during our ride up Craig-na-Ban this 
afternoon, he picked a piece of white heather (the emblem 
of "good luck") which he gave to her ; and this enabled 
him to make an allusion to his hopes and wishes as they 
rode dovvn Glen Dirnoch, which led to this happy conclu- 
sion.' Prince Albert wrote to Stockmar: ^ Vicky has 
indeed behaved quite admirably, as well during the closer 
explanation on Saturday, as in the self-command which 
she displayed subsequently and at the parting. She man- 
ifested towards Fritz and ourselves the most childlike 
simplicity and candor and the best feeling. The young 
people are ardently in love with one another, and the puri- 
ty, innocence, and unselfishness of the young man have 
been on his part equally touching.' " 

On the 25th of January, 1858, Prince Frederick was 
married to the Princess Victoria, the Prince going over 
to England for the ceremony, which took place in the 


Chapel Eoyal, St. James. Says an English biographer : 
''When the fair English girl went out to the land of her 
adoption, never was a Princess received by the Prussians 
with as much enthusiasm as she. And their first impres- 
sions of her have onlv been confirmed and strengthened 
by the good and noble life she has since led amongst the 

Prince Albert and Queen Victoria visited their daugh- 
ter the next j^ear in Berlin. They met her waiting for 
them at Potsdam. 

After a stay of nearly seven weeks in Germany, her 
Majesty and the Prince Consort returned to England 
with feelings of rejoicing over the happiness of their 
eldest child, and of thankfulness for the cordial under- 
standing which existed between the Courts of St. James 
and Berlin. 

In 1856 the Prince presided over the Army Commis- 
sion, which decided upon the adoption of the needle-gun 
throughout the Prussian army. On the 1st of January^ 
in the succeeding year, he celebrated his fifty years of 
military service, when the King conferred upon him the 
command of the Seventh Hussars, and gave him as word 
of honor. The officers of the army, by whom the Prince 
was held in high esteem, presented him with a massive 
silver shield, and the veteran old warriors gave him a 
magnificent silver helmet. The Queen of England, 
moreover, sent him the insignia of the Bath, by the 
hands of the gallant Sir Colin Campbell. 

While the Prince of Prussia was at Baden in 1857, 
visiting his daughter, the Grand Duchess, he became 
acquainted with his future antagonist, Napoleon III. 

The Prince's period of political inactivity was soon to 


close, however, and the Prussians were soon to have the 
opportunity of judging whether he was a worthy descend- 
ant of the great Elector and the greater King, Frederick 
the Great. 

In September, 1857, Frederick William IV., sometimes 
irreverently called " Campagner-Fritz," was suddenly 
stricken with paralysis of the brain. As his malady was 
beyond the help of medical skill, on the 25th of October, 
1858, he abdicated and Prince William was made Eegent, 
taking an oath of allegiance to the Prussian Constitution. 
At the end of this ceremony the Prince expressed himself 
in the following not-to-be-mistaken language : 

" I have taken upon myself the heavy load and respon- 
sibility of the Regency, and I have the firm will to con- 
tinue to perform what the Constitution and the laws 
exact from me." 

In a written address of some length, the Prince Eegent 
defined his position fully concerning the great interests of 
the state, religion, education, the army, and Prussia's for- 
eign relations, thus : 

"In religion there has been many abuses, and both 
Churches would be strenuously opposed if religion again 
were to be used as a political cloak. The Evangelical 
Church has returned to an orthodoxy which is not in har- 
mony with her principles, and that orthodoxy has placed 
the greatest bar on Evangelical union. The Catholic 
Church has her rights constitutionallj^ confirmed, but en- 
croachments can no longer be suffered. The education of 
the States should be so devised that Prussia would become 
foremost in the intelligence of the world. The army 
has created the greatness of Prussia, though both the 
army and the state suffered severely at one time from 




*2L «■ 



00 .. 



S Tl 




— 'f^ 




c ^ 

i* d 






!f ^ 



»II o 



en S 

•s tf 

e J3 





neglect. The war of emancipation has proved the capa- 
bilities of the Prussian armies, but the victories of the 
past must not dazzle us to blindly overlook the defects of 
the present. There are many things requiring alteration, 
which money and time will effect. It would be a grave 
mistake to be satisfied with merely a cheap army reorgan- 
ization, which could never realize the expectation of the 
country at a critical moment. Prussia should be re- 
spected, and to that end it is imperative that a powerful 
army be maintained, so that when the supreme moment 
comes, she can throw her full weight in the scale. The 
world must learn to know that Prussia is always ready to 
protect her rights. A firm and, if necessary, energetic 
policy, developed with caution and prudence, will procure 
for Prussia that political respect and power which it would 
be impossible for her to gain by force of arms alone." 

These were the ringing phrases the Prussians had 
long listened for, and they not only saw the beginning of 
a new era for their country, but throughout Germany the 
leaven had begun to work. The Manteuffel ministry was 
dismissed, and the people expected a man to be placed 
where he had stood, whose heart, soul, thought, and 
mind were Prussian. Such a man was being prepared and 
perfected by the exigencies of the hour. At this time he 
was a member of the Bund, and writes: "I take a par- 
ticular pleasure in the Bund ; all the gentlemen who, but 
six months ago, demanded my recall as a necessary condi- 
tion towards the consummation of German unity, now 
tremble at the thought of losing me. I say to them all, 
' Only keep calm ; everything will be all right in time.' " 

The first complication of a serious nature, and which 
but for the oool and deliberate judgment of the Prince 


Regent might have involved Prussia in a conflict, 
were the disputes which arose between the King of 
Sardinia and the Emperor of Austria in 1859. Popular 
sympathy in Germany drifted towards Italy, whose people 
were struggling for liberty and unity, the same as them- 
selves ; but when their hereditary foe across the Rhine 
allied himself with the King of Sardinia, a revulsion 
of sentiment in favor of Austria took place. Count Cavour, 
the astute premier of Sardinia, sought to entice Prince 
William into an alliance with the intimation that, through 
such a course, Prussia might obtain satisfaction for the 
humiliation she had suffered in the conference at Olmiitz. 
But in the opinion of the Prince Regent, the time for such 
revenge, however desirable, had not yet come, and reply- 
ing to Cavour, " that Prussia must not have her hands 
tied by treaties at this early stage in the affair," con- 
cluded to remain neutral for the time being. The war in 
Italy having progressed, and appearing to culminate in 
Austria's overthrow in Lombardv, the matter was taken 
up in the German Diet, where, after an acrimonious debate, 
the Austrian delegate introduced the resolution to mobilize 
the whole federal army and to place the Prussian Prince 
Regent in command — subject to the control of the Diet, or, 
in other words, subject to Austria's control. But Prussia 
declined the honor unless the assisting army should be 
placed under the Prince Regent's entire control. To this 
Austria would not consent, and, consequently, the events 
of the war between Italy and Austria compelled Austria 
to agree to the terms dictated by Napoleon III. of France, 
which were signed at Yilla Franca, July, 1859. Of course, 
Prussia was held responsible for this humiliating result, a 
feeling which naturally increased the animosity already 
existing between the two Powers. 


fiut impartial history has placed the blame where it 
properly belongs. A prompt and frank acceptance of 
German aid under Prussian military leadership, which had 
been offered, would undoubtedly have spared to Austria 
the Villa Franca treaty, but she preferred the loss of ter- 
ritory and of prestige in Italy to a victory secured over 
Napoleon, which might redound to the credit of her hated 
rival in the affairs of Germany-Prussia. This condition 
of things was well understood by the Prince Regent, nor 
was he unmindful of the fact that the appetite of the 
French for military glory had been sharpened by the vic- 
tories of Magenta and Solferino, and which they might 
soon wish to satiate in Germany. William remembered 
that Russia had of late years assumed the r61e of a military 
" bully " toward Prussia, and could, therefore, not be relied 
upon as an ally in the event of a conflict with France. 
But, above all, he fell the responsibility resting upon him 
as a member of the German Confederation to spare no 
pains to increase the power of Prussia ; to watch every 
move of the Powers ; to checkmate every advance of her 
enemies by well-defined and unhesitating counter moves. 
A powerful military organization must be his chief reli- 
ance. The representatives were not in favor of spending 
enormous sums for this purpose. The Prince Regent was 
not to be thwarted in this greatest of all ambitions, even 
at the cost of coercing the people's representatives, if nec- 
essary. Accordingly, after a careful examination into the 
actual condition of the army, it appeared by niobilization 
that its ranks were composed mostly of heads of families ; 
to be more explicit, two thirds of the troops were thus 
encumbered. The Prince submitted his plan of reorgan- 
ization to the House of Representatives, by which this 


state of things could be remedied, but was resisted by a 
majorit}^ of its members, owing to the accompanymg in- 
crease of expenditures. They all agreed with the Regent 
that something ought to be done to render the army more 
effective, but it might be done cheaper, they thought, than 
in the measure proposed. 

One of the German Emperor's biographers forcibly 
observes that, " the Prince Regent, as soon as he came into 
power, hastened to prepare his people for the long series 
of struggles which he foresaw to be inevitable, if Prussia 
were destined, under his guidance, to achieve her mission 
in Europe, viz., to take, and keep in such sort that it might 
never escape her, the leadership of Germany. To this end 
he drew the whole vigorous youth of the nation into the 
ranks of the army, and revived that warlike tone in Prus- 
sian feeling that had almost died out since the war of 
emancipation. This martial temper, once aroused, 
smoothed many difficulties from Prince William's path, 
after his accession to the throne, and may with truth be 
said to have ignited the enthusiasm which, blown into a 
flame by Prussia's first successes in the field, burnt brightly 
and more brightly throughout the momentous period of 
transition inaugurated by the campaign of 1864, until, in 
the spring of 1866, it suddenly burst into a furious blaze, 
and, annihilating all that stood in its way, swept along 
with awful might, an irresistible torrent of roaring fire 
that consumed Prussia's ^favorite foes' and Germany^s 
ancient fetters in one grand and terrible conflagration." 



IT WAS during the parliamentary wrangle under the 
regency of William that, on January 1, 1861, the King 
breathed his last. The following day Prince William 
ascended the Prussian throne, in his sixty-fourth year, as 
William I. 

The anticipations of the people that the new King 
would at once enter upon a course of political reforms 
were not realized ; to the contrary, it soon became evident 
that William was now more than ever determined upon 
carrying out his cherished plan, to reorganize and 
strengthen the army; the Chamber, however, remained 
firm in its refusal to pass a permanent measure for an 
increase of men and expenditure, and strictly adhered to 
this opinion, that the two years' term of military service was 
sufficient to educate the youth in the drill and duties of a 
soldier. Public sentiment was rapidly drifting away from 
the new King, and seemed to have reached a culminating 
point in the attempt upon his life by the young student, 
Oscar Becker, at Baden-Baden, who afterward declared 
that his conviction of the King's inability to fulfill 
Prussia's mission, had impelled him to commit the deed. 

In order to disabuse the minds of the people, and of 
their representatives, that, by conceding to them a Con- 
stitution, the Kingly dignity and power, ** By the Grace ot 
God," had also suffered some modifications, the anti- 
quated exhibition of a pompous coronation of the King, 



with all the splendor of by -gone days, was resolved upon. 
These coronation ceremonies took place at Konigsberg 
on the 18th of October, 1861. The following is the de 
scription of the occasion by an eye-witness : 

'' The first time I saw the King was when he rode in 
procession through the ancient city of Konigsberg, some 
two or three days before the coronation. He seemed a 
firm, dignified, handsome, somewhat bluflf old man, with 
gray hair, and gray mustache, and an expression which 
if it did not denote intellectual ix)wer, had much of cheer- 
ful strength and the charm of frank manhood about it. 
No one was just then disposed to be very enthusiastic 
about him, but everyone was inclined to make the best of 
the sovereign and the situation. But the manner in which 
the coronation ceremony was conducted, and the speech 
which the King delivered soon after, produced a terrible 
shock of disappointment, for in each the King manifested 
that he understood the crown to be a gift, not from the 
people but from heaven. To me the ceremony in the 
chapel, splendid and picturesque as it was, the miae en 
sc€7ie^ appeared absurd and even ridiculous. The King, 
bedizened in a regal costume, lifting a crown from 
the altar, and, without intervention of human aid 
other than his own hands, placing it upon his head, to 
signify that he had his crown from heaven, not from man ; 
then putting another crown upon the h^d of his wife, to 
show that she derived her dignities from him, and then 
turning round and brandishing a gigantic sword, as 
symbolical of his readiness to defend the state and people 
— all this seemed to me too suggestive of the opera com- 
ique to suit the simple dignity of the handsome olil 
soldier. Far better and nobler did he look in his military 



ttniform, and with his spiked helmet, as he sat on Ijis 
horse in the streets, than when arrayed in crimson velvet 
cloak and other such stage paraphernalia of conventional 

" 'There is just this to say about him,' said Earl Clar- 
endon, the British envoy at the coronation, 'he is an 
honest man and a man of his word ; he is not a Corsican 
conspirator.' Yes, this was the character of the King of 
Prussia ; in good and evil he kept his word. 

" It is a matter of conmion notoriety that the acts and 
words of the Kin^ at this crowning ceremony did not im- 
press the people with the deep conviction that his reign 
would be a Constitutional one ; but, to tlie contrary, they 
were looked upon as new declarations of absolute rule. 
Under such circumstances it is not to be wondered at that 
the people turned away from the ruler they mistrusted, 
calling upon their leaders to stand between them and a 
military despot. The next Chamber, which met after the 
coronation, proved conclusively that these were the pre- 
vailing sentiments of the country. A large number of 
representatives had been elected upon the positive under- 
standing that they were to give support to Government 
measures only upon condition that the Government would 
pursue a liberal policy at home and a decided German 
policy abroad." 

Commenting upon this unseemly effort of the Prussian 
King, to rejuvenate the exploded doctrine of the Divine 
right of Kings an English writer says : 

"But the King's enunciation of the Divine right of 
Kings, and his further announcement that he entered into 
no obligation to regard the Diet as a Parliament, gave rise 
to much solicitude in England. The Prince Consort 


wrote to Baron Stockmar : ' The speeches of the King of 
Prussia at Konigsberg have produced a bad impression 
here, and the theory of the Divine right of Kings (apart 
from being an absurdity in itself, and exploded here for 
the last two hundred j^ears) is suitable neither to the po- 
sition and vocation of Prussia, nor to those of the King. 
The difficulty of establishing united action between Prus- 
sia and England has been again infinitely augmented by 
this royal programme.' " 

Upon the assembling of the Prussian representatives 
in January, 1862, a hostile majority confronted the King, 
and after a fruitless wrangle between the King's ministry 
and the representatives of the people over the budgx^t for 
military expenditures, the House was dissolved by King 
William, on the 11th of March, and the resignation of the 
unpopular ministry accepted. 

A new ministrv, with Prince Hohenlohe as Premier, 
was called by the King, and instructions given to lay be- 
fore the voters the urgent necessity of furnishing the gov- 
ernment Parliamentary support. These instructions were 
resented by the people, as undue interference in free 
elections, and had the very contrary effect, to-wit : that 
of increasing the majority of the opposition against Wil- 
liam in the House. The recommendations of the King 
were more resolutely resisted than ever, and the argu-' 
ments of the Ministry were met by a flat refusal to allow 
an increase in army expenditures. In this emergency, 
the King's urgent cry for, " A man, a man ! " reminds one 
of King Richard III., when, for a horse he oflfered half 
his kingdom. The English King did not get his horse, 
but the King of Prussia, more lucky, got his man — the 
man that was to carry him, not only over these Parlia- 


mentarian difficulties, but eventually to place him upon the 
imperial throne of Germany. His name was Otto von 
Bismarck-Schonhausen. The first time William I met 
this subject of his was at a Prussian court ball, in 1834, 
when he was much struck by two youths of lofty stature, 
who were introduced to him by the Master of the Cere- 
monies, upon which he pleasantly remarked: "Well, it 
seems that justice npw-a-days recruits her youngsters in 
conformity to the guard's standard 1 " The youths were 
lawyers practicing in the Berlin courts, and the taller of 
the two was none other than Otto Augustus Leopold von 
Bismarck. This was the first glimpse which the Kaiser 
and the Chancellor had of each other. 

BisMABCK was born in 1815 and came of a distinguished 
family some of whom had been prominent military men 
under the Electors of Brandenburg and the Kings of Prus- 
sia. At the age of seventeen he was sent to Oottingen to 
study law and political economy. A year later he entered 
the University of Berlin, and in 1835 was admitted to the 
bar. During the stormy period of 1847 he was a delegate 
of the Saxon nobility to the Diet, and caUed the attention 
of the Germans upon himself by his violent opposition to 
the demanded reforms of the people. 

After the revolution of '48 he attended an assembly of 
the country nobility called the Junker Parliament. From 
1849 to '50 he was a member of the second Chamber of the 
Prussian Diet. He was a strong advocate of increased 
monarchical powers and the consolidation of the German 
nationality by the joint action of Austria and Prussia. In 
1851 he was appointed by Frederick William IV. Prussian 
embassador to the Germanic Diet at Frankfort, when he 
changed his views in regard to Austria's pretensions and 


showed so much opposition that for prudential reasons he 
was sent as embassador to Russia, remaining there until 
1862, when he was transferred to Paris. Six months after 
he was recalled, and succeeded Prince Hohenzollern as head 
of the administration and Minister of Foreign Affairs. 

The tone of the liberal press towards him was neither 
friendly nor complimentary. It soon began to be appar- 
ent that if Bismarck could not command their respect 
he would compel their submission. He foreshadowed his 
policy in the following language : 

"It is not by speechifying and majorities that the 
great questions of the times will have to be decided, but 
by blood and ironP 

His acts followed his words ; for the amounts 
demanded for the army reorganization having been 
rejected by the House, at the close of the session 
Bismarck informed its members, in the name of the King, 
" that the Budget for the year 1862, as decreed by the 
Lower Chamber, having been rejected by the Upper 
Chamber on the ground of insufficiency, the Government 
of his Majesty is under the necessity of carrying out the 
Budget as it was originally laid before the Lower House, 
without taking cognizance of the conditions prescribed by 
the Constitution.^^ 

This declaration, so startling to the country, was noth- 

j ing more nor less than a plain notice to the people's rep- 

'; resentatives that the money required would be raised in 

\the usual way by the Government, Chamber or no 

IChamber, to-wit, in open violation of the Constitution. 

>The same policy was pursued in 1863. The King's speech 

was read by Bismarck, in which the representatives were 

reminded that " if by their decisions with regard to the 


expenditures they had the right to simply do away with 
the army organization, also if they had the right to con- 
trol the relations between the King and his Ministers, 
they would be de facto in possession of complete power of 
the government of the country." This interpretation of 
the prerogatives of the Chamber was not however that of 
the HohenzoUem William, nor of his Prime Minister. 

The King's address raised immediate opposition in the 
Chambers, as well as throughout the country, which re- 
sulted in a counter address to the King, in which his 
Majesty was plainly told, that since the last session his 
ministers had carried on the government against the Con- 
stitution and without a legal Budget ; that the supreme 
right of the representatives of the people had thereby 
been attacked. The country had been alarmed and had 
stood by its representatives. Abuses of the power of the 
Government were now taking phice just as in the sad 
years preceding the Regency. "Your Majesty," they 
continued, "recently declared that nobody ought to 
doubt your intention of maintaining the Constitution; 
but the Constitution has already been violated by the 
Ministers. Our position imposes on us the most urgent 
duty of solemnly declaring that peace at home and power 
abroad can only be restored by the return of the Govern- 
ment to a Constitutional state of things." 

The King's reply, "that* he recognized the right of 
the representatives of the people to grant expenditures, 
but that since they had not come to an agreement, he 
was in duty bound to carry on the Government without 
their assistance," did not mend matters. The sessions of 
the Chambers again become scenes of charges and denials, 
recriminations and disclamations between the King's 


premier and the representatives. Bismarck had become 
B(} aggressive as to openly defy the aathority of the Pres- 
ident of the Chamber. The public press thereupon taking 
sides with the representatives, Bismarck made it his next 
object of attack. 

. During tliis reactionary course pursued by the King 
and his Minister, it is a pleasure to refer to the fact that 
the Crown Prince (present Emperor of Germany) was 
openly opposed to this plain violation of the Constitution. 
In a letter written by him to his father, May 31, 1863, he 
says : 

*^ Expressions which you have lately made use of 
in my presence, regarding the possibility of forcing your 
measures upon the country, oblige me to speak out on the 
subject. • On dismissing the Auerswald Cabinet you told 
mo that, being more liberal than yourself, I had now got 
an opportunity for enacting the usual part of a Crown 
Prince, to-wit: throwing difficulties in the way of your 
Government. At that time I promised to maintain silence, 
and oflfor no opposition. Intending to keep my promise, 
as I do, I yet feel it my duty to speak to you in private. 
I beseech you, my dearest father, not to invade the law in 
the way you hinted. Nobody is more fully aware than 
myself that to you an oath is a sacred thing, and not to be 
trifled with. But the position of a sovereign in regard to 
his ministers is sometimes very difficult. Skilled as they 
arc in the lawyer's art, and expert at interpretation, they 
know how to represent a measure as fair and necessary, 
and by degrees to force a sovereign into a path very 
diflforont from that which he intended to tread." 

A few days later, on the 3d of June, Bismarck re- 
ceived a letter from the Crown Prince, in which as a mem- 


ber of the Council of State, he earnestly protested against 
the order muzzling the press : 

*' I deem the proceedings of the Cabinet," the Prince 
says, "to be both illegal and injurious to the State and 
the dynasty. I declare the measure to have been taken 
without my wishing and knowing it, and I protest against 
any inferences and ascriptions to be possibly based upon 
my relation to the Council of State." 

Having given expression to similar sentiments, in the 
reply to the address of welcome by the municipal author- 
ities at Dantzic, the King became angry and demanded 
an apology from his son under the threat of recall and 
discharge from the army. But the conscientious Frederick 
was not to be intimidated, nor driven from a position 
which he believed to be honorable and correct. A lengthy 
reply to his father closes with the foflowing manly state- 

"I can retract nothing of what I have said. All I 
can do is to keep silent. Should you wish me to do so, 
I hereby lay at your feet my commission in the army and 
my seat in the Council of State. I beg you to appoint 
me a place of residence, or permit me to select one for 
myself, either in Prussia or abroad. If I am not allowed 
to speak my mind, I must naturally wish to dissolve my- 
self from the sphere of politics." 

Such courageous expressions from the Crown Prince, at 
a time of great excitement in his country over his father's 
disregard of his oath, gives a glimpse of his character at 
the time. His father, it seems, did not accept his offer, 
and the death of Frederick VII. of Denmark soon follow- 
ing, which threatened new complications, the affair was 
allowed to drop out of sight. 

360 pfimofi WILLIAM 

Everyone had slumbered in the fanciful hope that the 
hereditary claim upon the Schleswig-Holstein Duchies 
hud found its final and definite settlement in what was 
called " The London Protocol," entered into in 1852. It 
must be remembered that the claims had been purely those 
of different Princes, without the slightest regard to the 
1,000,000 of inhabitants composing these provinces. 
Three-fourths of them being Germans, with German pre- 
dilections and aspirations, they naturally sympathized 
with Germany, and had their inclinations been consulted 
by the contracting powers in '62, a peaceful incorporation 
of the Duchies with Prussia, their nearest neighbor, would 
have been the result. In 1848 this public sentiment had 
asserted itself by a demand for a union between the two 
Duchies, indei)endent of Denmark, and by a request upon 
Germany for mUitary assistance. 

This repetition of what has been said before is necessary 
to a full understanding of this question, which had vexed the 
ingenuity of European statesmen for nearly a quarter of 
a century. Under the prevailing conditions the question 
resolved itself into the simple query, Who shall have the 
territory ? 

On the 6th of December, subsequent to the King's 
death. Christian IX., the new King of Denmark issued 
his proclamation to the effect that he would maintain the 
integrity of the Kingdom, including Sclileswig-Holstein, 
with an armed force if necessarj'^. This was a notice to 
the German Confederation to keep its hands off, which 
notice was answered by the Frankfort Diet with an order 
for a contingent of the army of the German Confederation, 
for the object of occupying the Duchies forthwith. The 
King of Denmark, expecting the assistance of England 


and France, at once occupied the Dannewirks — theretofore 
considered an impregnable stronghold — with 30,000 men 
under General Meza. After a severe battle between the 
Danes and the Germans in February, General Meza was 
compelled to retreat. In the following month o'f April 
the Pinssians under the command of Prince Frederick 
Charles, nephew of King William, took the strongly 
intrenched "Duppler- works" by assault, causing a loss of 
5,000 men to the Danes and capturing 120 guns. 

An ineffectual attempt to come to an amicable under- 
standing was made during a six weeks' armistice, but all 
overtures being rejected by the King of Denmark, hostil- 
ities were again resumed on the 26th of June. On the 29th 
the Prussians, under Frederick Charles, defeated the Danes 
between Dlippel and the Island of Alson, inflicting a loss 
of 4,000 men and 100 guns. 

Soon after Jutland was also occupied by Prussian and 
Austrian troops. This ended the campaign. On the 12th 
of July the Danish King sued for peace, which was finally 
concluded in Vienna, and by which the Duchies were 
unconditionally ceded to Prussia and Austria. 

All German troops but those of the latter two powers 
were npw withdrawn from the Duchies, and Austria, 
keenly appreciating the fact that geographical lines 
would prevent her from ever reaping substantial benefit 
from this accession, would have readily consented to 
follow suit had Prussia consented to cede to her a small 
jKjrtion of Silesia in compensation for her share in the 
Schleswig-IIolstein Duchies. But this proposition was 
promptly rejected by the King. Other propositions for 
a compromise which were made reciprocally met the 
same fate, and in 1865 the tension between the two great 


copartners in the Duchy proprietorship had reached the 
snapping point, and war between Austria and Prussia 
was only temporarily averted by the convention at 
Gastein^ where the two powers were respectively repre- 
sented by Bismarck and Count Bloom. The treaty there 
concluded, and subsequently ratified at Salzburg by the 
sovereigns of Prussia and Austria, transferred Schleswig to 
Prussia and Holstein to Austria. In consideration of two 
and a half million dollars Austria ceded all her rights in the 
Duchy of Lauenburg to Prussia. The eminent diplomatic 
services rendered by Bismarck were rewarded by King 
William with the title of Count. By this treaty Pinissia, 
or rather Germany, had come into possession of a fine piece 
of territory and a number of excellent harbors in the 

The English Premier, Earl Russell, gave vent to his dis- 
gust at sight of a division of European territory, in which 
Great Britain had no part, in the following sententious 
language : 

" All rights, old or new, whether based upon a solemn 
agreement between sovereigns or on the clear and precise 
expression of the popular will, have been trodden under 
foot by the Gastein Convention, and the authority of 
force is the sole power which has been consulted and rec- 
ognized. Violence and conquest, such are the only bases 
upon which the dividing Powers have established their 
Convention. Her Majesty's Government greatly deplores 
the disregard thus manifested for the principles of public 
law and the legitimate claim that a people may raise to 
be heard when their destiny is called into question." 

That this arbitrary division of Schleswig- Holstein was 
received with jealousy mingled with a feeling of dread 





































both by France and England, is discernible in the tone of 
the diplomatic correspondence held at that time between 
the ministers of foreign affairs of France and of England 
respectively. A letter from the French Secretary contains 
the following ebullition of righteous indignation at the 
amicable arrangement between the two foreign Powers : 

"Upon what principle does the Austro-Prussian com- 
bination rest ? We regret to find no other foundation for 
it than force, no other justification than the reciprocal 
convenience of the co-sharers. This is a mode of dealing 
to which the Europe of to-day has become unaccustomed, 
and precedents for it must be sought for in the darkest 
ages of history. Violence and conquest pervert the 
notion of right and the conscience of nations." 

The cool assurance of this epistle is especially refresh- 
ing, coming from a country whose policy is territorial 

But Count Bismarck's time and attention were occu- 
pied with too serious matters at home to allow himself to 
be drawn into lengthy diplomatic controversies with 
foreign nations. The relative position between the 
Crown and the people's representatives was as unsatis- 
factory as ever, and the breach between them seemed to 
grow wider from day to day. 

The Liberal party in Prussia, and in fact all over Ger- 
many, seemed to be struck with the blind hallucination 
that the unification of Germany could only be secured 
through Austria. They despised and cursed the Bismarck 
ministry, fervently wishing its downfall, and this senti- 
ment was carefully nursed among the rural population of 
Southern Germany by the Ultramontane portion of the 
Catholics. Prussia is troubled with the " big head, " they 


said, let us knock it oat of her. This hostile sentiment 
against Prussia, but more especially against Bismarck, 
had grown to such an intensity that on the 7th of May, 
1866, a young man by the name of Blind, son of the well- 
known Karl Blind, felt himself called upon to " remove 
the tyrant," an attempt which, fortunately for Germany, 
was unsuccessful. In the meantime the relations between 
Prussia and Austria had become strained, owing to some 
supposed intrigues of the latter in the Schleswig-Holstein 
principalities. They began charging each other with bad 
faith in reference to the Gastein stipulations, when Aus- 
tria, feeling her strength in the German Diet, gave notice 
to the Prussian Government that she would submit the 
Sclileswig-IIolstein question to that federal body for set- 
tlement. In the meantime Austria was arming. As early 
as April, 1866, Count Bismarck had submitted a propo- 
sition to the German Diet to issue a call for a German 
Parliament, based upon universal suffrage ; but the prop- 
osition had been rejected by all the States except Baden, 
Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and a few of the smaller Princi- 
palities. Under these circumstances both King William 
and his ministers, deeming it a matter of self-preservation, 
resolved to look elsewhere for a reliable ally in case of an 
emergency, and they found one in King Victor Emanuel 
of Italy. By a secret understanding it was mutually 
agreed, in case of a war with Austria, not to retire from 
the conflict until Venice had been secured by Italy and 
Schleswig-Holstein by Prussia. 

On the 14th of June, 1866, the die was to be cast. 
Peace or war lay in the hands of the German Diet. It 
decided for war, by agreeing, in spite of Prussia's protest, 
to entertain the Austrian proposition concerning the ques- 


tion of Schleswig-Holstein by a vote of nine to six. After 
this vote the Prussian representative left the session with 
the remark that Prussia would now rely upon herself 

There was great rejoicing among Austria's adherents, 
and speculations were rife as to which of them would 
secure this or that portion of Prussia, when, as it was surely 
predicted, that Kingdom would be dismembered and par- 
celed out among the victors. Not even France was for- 
gotten in the division of this one German Kingdom, which 
more than once had stood like a wall against the dis- 
memberment of Germany by foreign enemies. 

" These gentlemen are underestimating us," said Bis- 
marck, upon hearing of these prognostications; "the world 
will be astounded at the power this divided Prussia will 
develop in an emergency." 

And so it happened. The campaign of but a few weeks' 
duration which followed, was sufficient to bring the 
victorious banners of Prussia to the very doors of 
Austria's capital ; that long expected moment was near at 
hand when the King would be able to prove that his inde- 
fatigable efforts toward the effectiveness of Prussian arms 
were an inspiration, and when the cause for his apparently 
autocratic opposition to the representatives would be 
understood and his action approved. 

Events, as they have since transpired, conclusively 
demonstrated the fact that Prussian supremacy in Ger- 
many was absolutely essential to the unification of the 
country upon a Constitutional basis. 

For centuries the destinies of Germany had been con- 
trolled by the Hapsburg dynasty, and what was the 
result ? A divided and oppressed people at home, and a 


convenient foot-ball for foreign assumption. Austria, 
with her reactionary tendencies, and her subserviency to 
Papal dictation was but a living tradition of past ages. 
She was the natural enemy of intellectual and poUtical 
progress, and, with her most varied population of Magyars 
and Slavs, was no further advanced nor had higher 
aspirations than had her near Eussian neighbor. The 
faintest attempts of her people to liberalize their institu- 
tions, or better their political condition, were met with the 
most pronounced and decisive punishment. Inadvertent 
expressions were interpreted as treason, and high-minded 
women were publicly whipped at the pillory for honesty of 
expression. The country was ruled by military satraps. 
She was the first German State to repudiate the Constitu- 
tion wrung from her in 184:9. Under her leadership were 
Germans from Prussia, Bavaria, WUrtemberg, Baden, 
Saxony, Hanover, Hesse, Mecklenburg and Austria, but not 
Germany, and they have only become Germans of Ger- 
many through Prussia's happy interference and elevation 
to imperial power. 

In the face of all these facts, the Emperor of Austria 
had the audacity, on the 17tti of June, 1866, just before 
the opening of the hostilities, in a manifesto, to call upon 
the world as a witness to the justness of his cause. 

Kef erring to the perfidious action of his representative 
at the Frankfort Diet, in his attempt to entrap Prussia 
into submitting the Schleswig-Holstein question to this 
Austria-disposed body, he says : 

" While engaged in a work of peace, which was 
undertaken for the purpose of laying the foundation for 
a Constitution which should augment the unity and 
power of the Empire, and at the same time secure to my 

V\tt <Sen(TationnL 

Suffa IBithlin 1., 611D11, linM unb ninlcl. 

Four Qenerations 

limperor William I., Son, Qnnd-bou and Greac-Grand-SOD. 


several countries and peoples free internal development, 
my duties as a sovereign have obliged me to place my 
whole army under arms. On the frontiers of my Empire, 
in the south and in the north, stand the armies of two 
enemies who have allied with the intention of breaking 
the power of Austria as a great European State. To 
neither of those enemies have I given cause for war. I 
call on an Omniscient God to bear witness that I have 
always considered it my first, my most sacred duty, to do 
all in my power to secure for my peoples the blessings of 

" The negotiations with Prussia in respect to the Elbe 
Duchies clearly proved that a settlement of the question 
in a way compatible with the dignity of Austria, and with 
the rights and interests of Germany and the Duchies, 
could not be brought about, as Prussia was violent and 
intent on conquest. The negotiations were therefore 
broken off, the whole affair was referred to the Bund, 
and at the same time the legal representatives of Holstein 
were convoked. 

" The danger of war induced the three Powers — France, 
England and Russia — to invite my Government to par- 
ticipate in general conferences, the object of which was 
to be the maintenance of peace. My Government, in 
accordance with my views, and if possible, to secure the 
blessing of peace for my peoples, did not refuse to share 
in the conferences, but made their acceptance dependent 
on the confirmation of the supposition that the public law 
of Europe and the existing treaties were to form the basis 
of the attempt at mediation, and tliat the Powers repre- 
sented would not seek to uphold special interests which 
could be prejudicial to the balance of power in Europe, 


and to the rights of Austria. The fact that the attempt 
to mediate failed because these natural suppositions were 
made, is a proof that the conferences could not have led 
to the maintenance* of peace. Secent events clearly 
prove that Prussia substitutes open violence for right and 

"The most pernicious of wars — a war of Germans 
against Germans — has become inevitable, and I now sum- 
mon before the tribunal of history — before the tribunal 
of an eternal and all-powerful God — those persons who 
have brought it about, and make them responsible for the 
misfortunes which may fall on individuals, families, dis- 
tricts, and countries. We shall not be alone in the strug- 
gle which is about to take place. The princes and people 
of Germany know that liberty and independence are men- 
aced by a Power which listens but to the dictates of ego- 
tism, and is under the influence of an ungovernable crav- 
ing after aggrandizement ; and they also know that in 
Austria they have an upholder of ihefreedomy power and 
integrity of the whole of the German Fatherland. We 
and our German brethren have taken up arms in defense 
of the most precious rights of nations. We have been 
forced to do so, and we neither can nor will disarm until 
the internal development of my Empire and of the Ger- 
man States, which are allied with it, has been secured, and 
also their power and influence in Europe. My hopes are 
not based on unity of purpose — on power alone. I con- 
fide in an Almighty and a just God, whom ijiy house from 
its very foundation has faithfully served — a God who 
never forsakes those who righteously put their trust in 
Him. To Him I pray for assistance and success^ and I 
call on my people to join me in that prayer." 



ON the 18th of June this Austrian manifesto was fol- 
lowed by a proclamation from King William I., in 
which he called the Prussian people to arms, and declared 
that he had sought friendly relations with Austria but had 
been treated by that power as a dangerous and hostile 
rival. He referred to his policy in demanding the reor- 
ganization of the army, and pointed with pride to his 
achievement in that direction. In closing the King prom- 
ised in case of victory to reconstitute the German Con- 
federation upon a firm basis. The proclamation was a 
fair statement of facts, and, as events have since demon- 
strated, a sincere prognostication of Prussian future policy 
as a German Power. 

The shock of arms, however, was soon to eclipse the 
effect of manifesto and proclamation. Tlie assurance of 
Austria's friends in the future success of her arms was not 
without foundation. Her General-in-chief, Field-Marshal 
Benedek, was an experienced soldier with a well established 
reputation, and his army of 270,000 well-drilled, and well- 
disciplined soldiers, stationed in Moravia, were believed 
to be in as good fighting order as the troops Prussia would 
bring against them. In addition to this formidable army, 
the auxiliary forces furnished by her partly voluntary, 
partly compulsory allies of the different German States, 

aggregated 143,000 men, placed in the field in the following 



quotas: Bavaria 30,000 men, Saxony 24,000, Hanover 
20,000, Wiirtemberg 16,300, Hesse-Darmstadt 9,400, 
Electorate of Hesse 7,000, Nassau 6,400, and Baden, geo- 
graphically so situated as to be easily coerced by Austria, 
had to contribute a contingency of 10,900 men. 

Prussia had 326,000 men ready to take the field, and in 
an emergency could rely on 100,000 of the Landwehr arm 
of her forces, who all had seen military service. 

Geographically, Prussia was at a disadvantage in a war 
with Austria, now in league with the smaller German 

Hanover and the Electorate of Hesse reached far into 
the interior of her dominion on the West, while Saxony 
overlapped her territory on the East. Under these cir- 
cumstances, prompt and decisive action was imperatively 
demanded. The governments of Saxony, Hanover, and of 
Hesse-Cassel were informed by Bismarck that unless they 
sided with Prussia (in which case the sovereign rights of 
the rulers would be guaranteed) war would be declared 
against them ; to this proposition an answer was expected 
on the evening of the day upon which the notice was dis- 
patched. Saxony promptly replied " No I " and the two 
others, having failed to reply in the time specified, a dec- 
laration of war was instantly made by the Prussian 
Government against all three. Prussia was fully prepared. 
While King William, in the appointment of Bismarck, had 
secured for his affairs of state a man of extraordinarv 
genius, he had also been as favored in securing the military 
genius of the age for his affairs of war. Bismarck, having 
performed his task in the diplomatic field, promptly took 
his position in the rear, allowing his masterly colleague, 
General Von Moltke, to pass to the front. 


Genebal Von Moltke, or rather Ilelmuth Karl Bern- 
hard von Moltke, was born at Parchim, Mecklenburg, 
in 1800. His father was a general in the Danish army, 
and young Von Moltke passed his first years of study 
at the Copenhagen Military Academy. He was com- 
missioned at the age of eighteen, and at twenty-two 
entered the Prussian service. After ten years' labor and 
hard study he was received upon the general staflf. In 
1835 Mahmoud II. invited him to Constantinople, to su- 
perintend the fortifications and direct the warfare against 
Egypt and the troublesome Kurds of Asia. He returned 
to Berlin after the Sultan's death in 1839, and was employed 
until 1856 in staflf service, when he became adjutant to 
Prince Frederick William, and two years later Chief of 
the General Staflf of the army. Ilis great success as a 
commander has been due, it is claimed, to his military 
system of making the diflferent army corps advance sepa- 
rately and operate simultaneously upon a given point. 

While the two monarchs Avere formulating their proc- 
lamations, Greneral Von Moltke had completed his prepa- 
rations for war, even to the minutest details. The com- 
manders of the diflferent army corps only waited for the 
word, "Forward I" through the click of the telegraph, 
to set their troops in motion. 

The word came, and on the next day, June 17th, the 
Prussians had entered Hanover, and on the 18th occupied 
Dresden, Cassel and Leipsic. The Prince of Hesse was 
taken prisoner and sent to Stettin, and after to Konigs- 
berg under guard, while his army made its escape south- 
ward. The Saxon army of 23,000 also withdrew in the 
same direction, finally joining the Austrian army under 
General Benedek. King George, of Hanover, having 


failed to effect a retreat toward Austria in time, was sur- 
rounded by Prussian forces where, expecting Bavarian 
support, he dallied away his time in the vicinity of the 
Harz Mountains and Thuringian Forest. His object was, 
also, to gain time for negotiations with King William, in 
which object he was so far successful as to receive the 
same offer tendered him before the commencement of 
hostilities. An honorable surrender and alliance with 
Prussia was not satisfactory to this unsagacious monarch, 
whereupon his army of 24.000 Hanoverians was attacked 
by Genend Flies, with a Prussian force of 8,000, at 
Langensalza, on the 27th of June. Owing to the great 
disparity of numbere in the two contending forces, the 
Prussians suffered a defeat; but reinforcements under 
Generals Falkenstein and Manteuffel having reached the 
scene of action during the night and following day. King 
George was forced to surrender. He and the Crown 
Prince were permitted to repair to Vienna, and his troops 
to return to their homes. Immense quantities of war 
supplies were added to the Prus?van army by this first 
encounter. Thus, in the space of ten days, had two-thinis 
of Austria's German allied forces been placed hora de 
eomhat, and without even an attempt at united resistance ; 
this blow in the West had resulted from the total absence 
of such precautionary measures as a plan for concentrated 
action would have suggested. 

While these events were transpiring in the smaller 
States of Austria's contingent, the main army of Prussia 
Lad advanced in two different bodies toward the Bohe- 
mian frontier, under the respective commands of Prince 
Frederick Charles, the King of Prussia's nephew, and 
Crown Prince Frederick William (present Emperor). The 


troops of the former were composed of the Second, Third, 
Fourth and Eighth Army Corps, drawn from Pomerania, 
Brandenburg, Saxony, and the Ehinish Provinces; the 
latter was composed of the First, Fifth and Sixth Corps 
from Prussia, Silesia, and Glatz, and was under the direct 
command of General Von Bittenfeld. 

It had been the Austrian General Benedek's intention 
to transfer the seat of war to Prussian territory, in oitier 
to refresh the memory of these Prussians who had enjoyed 
a long period of peace with the remembrance of former Aus- 
trian invasions, but unfortunately for the generous inten- 
tion of the Austrian commander, General Von Moltke had 
anticipated his intentions, and the visit was postponed, 
for while General Benedek was quietly marching his troops 
from Moravia to the Elbe, Saxony was as quietly being 
occupied by Prussian divisions, while Prussian soldiers in 
large numbers were already appearing upon the Austrian 
frontier. This uncivil and abrupt conduct of General Von 
Moltke had a very disconcerting effect upon the Austrian 
commander Benedek, who now decided to lay in wait 
for the enemy on the Austrian plains near the mountain 

General Bittenfeld, with his 40,000 troops of Rhine- 
landers, marched up along the right bank of the Elbe and 
entered Bohemia on the 22d of June, and on the 23d the 
first troop followed and took a position a few miles east 
of Bittenfeld. Here they were met by the advance body 
of the Austrian army, which had been joined by the 
20,000 Saxon auxiliaries, making 60,000 under the com- 
mand of Count Clam-Gallas. His efforts to defend 
the Iser were in vain, and on the 26th of June Bittenfeld 
had forced his way at HUnerwasser, and on the same day 


the First corps, after a severe conflict near Podol, made a 
joint attack upon Clam-Gallas, defeating him after a 
bloody struggle at Mtlnchengratz, and compelling his 
withdrawal to Getschin. Had the Austrian general re- 
ceived sufficient reinforcements he might have prevented 
the junction of the two Prussian armies under the Crown 
Prince with Bittenfeld and Prince Charles, as he occupied 
a strong position between them. Before assistance ar- 
rived, however, he was again attacked by Prince Frederick 
Charles, and forced to retreat. 

In the meantime, the Crown Prince had entered Bo- 
hemia through the three mountain passes, Elchenbach, 
Reichenberg, and Konigstein. Upon the plains at the 
foot of the mountains the Austrians oflfered determined 
resistance, and attempted to drive the Prussians back into 
the passes. At Nachod, General Steinmetz attacked the 
Austrians, and after a bloody encounter took 2,500 pris- 
oners. On June 28th the Crown Prince and Steinmetz 
advanced to Skalitz, which, after some fighting, was taken. 
On the 29th the Aupa was crossed, the Austrians disput- 
ing the ground inch by inch, until Gradlitz, in the valley 
of the Elbe, was reached, when another battle took place, 
but the Austrians were driven from the field and forced 
to seek shelter under the guns of the strong citadel of 
Josephstadt. During this time the Prussian royal guard 
had defeated General Gablentz and taken 6,000 prisoners. 
At this stage of hostilities the whole Prussian army of 
250,000 men stood waiting near Koeniggratz. 

King "William and his Chief of Staflf Von Moltke, whose 
matchless genius had planned the whole campaign, his 
prime minister Von Bismarck, whose statesmanship had 
brought Prussia to a condition where she could manfully 




sastain herself while passing through a military ordeal of 
such magnitude, and his efficient and cautious War Minis- 
ter, Von Boon, all were still in Berlin. On the 29th of 
June, twelve days after the armies were set in motion, 
the victories of Htienerwasser, Podol, and Nachod in 
Bohemia, and of Langensalza in Hanover, had reached 
the Prussian capital. And behold the sudden change in 
public sentiment which, until now, had been more or less 
sullen. The joyful tidings threw the people into a state 
of the wildest enthusiasm for the vfery men they had been 
cursing and traducing but a few hours before. The 
stores of the city were forthwith gaily decorated, and an 
address of congratulation, containing 20,000 signatures, 
was presented to the King the evening of the same day. 
Not satisfied with this, the enthusiastic populace were 
determined to see the King, and express to him in person 
their feelings of admiration and gratefulness, proceeding 
in immense throngs to the palace, where, in front of the 
historic corner-window, from a hundred thousand throats, 
arose Luther's soul-stirring anthem, "A powerful fortress 
is our God." When, in response to their enthusiastic 
calls, the aged King appeared and acknowledged their 
greetings in a few words of thanks for their friendly 
eicpressions, adding, " I shall carry these sentiments with 
me to the Army," the immense throng burst forth in a 
storm of cheers and applause. But there were other 
amends to be made ; they had maligned King William's 
minister; had called Bismarck names, and had even 
suspected him of disloyalty to Prussia. The cry soon 
rang out, "Away to Bismarck ! to Bismarck ! let us away to 
Bismarck 1 " and the stream of human beings, singing and 
shouting, rolled on towards Bismarck's residence. 


The joyous multitude, upon reaching the street in 
front of the Premier's house, as it caught a glimpse of his 
massive form at the open window, rent the air with 
shouts and cheers of commendation. This must have 
been a moment of superlative satisfaction to the self- 
dependent statesman. 

Clouds had been gathering overhead, and while the 
people stood shouting and cheering, a sudden flash of 
lightning followed by a tremendous clap of thunder 
startled the throng. The vivid flash, for a moment, illumi- 
nated the impassable face of the man of "blood and 
iron " ; raising his arm he pointed upward, and in a voice 
equaling the roar of God's artillery, exclaimed : " Behold 1 
the heavens are joining in our triumphs of victory. God 
sa/ve tlie Fatherland ! " 

The cry of exultation that followed these few words 
was deafening. It rolled from street to street, from man 
to man, until Berlin became as one inspiring, unanimous, 
vehement voice in praise of the sturdy, patriotic hero of 
the hour. On the same evening, near midnight. King 
William, Bismarck, Moltke and Von Roon hurried from 
the capital to the front, where the 'King was to take 
supreme command over the Prussian army. 

Within the few davs in which the several battles had 
been fought, the Austrian commander had suffered a loss 
of 35,000 men, and of the seven corps composing his army, 
five had been thoroughly beaten. The army was demoral- 
ized, and apprehensive of the result General Benedek tele- 
graphed to the Emperor of Austria as follows : " Sir, you 
must make peace.'* But his master was not ready for 
peace; there was too much at stake for him and his dyn- 
asty, and, on the 2d of July, King William established 


hi& headquarters at Gitchin. He was most enhusiastio- 
ally received by the army, and his presence, as well as that 
of his distinguished staff, increased the confidence and 
ardor of the troops. In a letter to the Queen, at Berlin, 
the King thus described this hearty greeting: "The 
rejoicing which broke out here when the guards first saw 
me, can not be described. The officers caught my hands 
and kissed them, which now and then I was obliged to 
permit, and so it continued from one body of troops to 
another; everywhere, cheers upon cheers." 

During the night from tlie 2d to the 8d, a dispatch 
was received at headquarters from Prince Frederick Karl, 
in which permission was asked to attack General Benedek 
in the morning. A slight apprehension was felt on account 
of the possible detention of the Crown Prince's command, 
stationed several miles from the proposed field of battle; 
however, the general attack was resolved upon. Early on 
the morning of the 3d, the Prussian cavalry and horse 
artillery were seen moving forward, as if to feel the ene- 
my's position, when they were fired upon from an Austrian 
battery situated near Sadowa. The main army of Prus- 
sia was now drawn up in battle array. General Herwarth 
von Bittenfeld was in command of the right wing, and 
the center near Sadowa was held by Prince Frederick 
Charles. King William, with Bismarck, Moltke, and Von 
Boon at his side, sat upon his charger, overlooking the field. 

This memorable battle, which determined the future 
well-being of Germany, has been often glowingly described 
by many German writers. But in order to avoid even the 
shadow of German bias, the author prefers to use the 
account of a disinterested witness, published in the London 
Times a few days after the battle: 


"It was ten o'clock when Prince Frederick Charles sent 
General Stuhnapl to order the attack on Sadovra, Dohilnitz, 
and Mokrowens. The columns advanced, covered by 
skirmishers, and reached the river bank without much 
loss ; but from there they had to fight every inch of their 
way. The Austrian infantry held the bridges and villages 
in force, and fired fast upon them as they approached. The 
Prussians could advance but slowly along the narrow ways 
and against the defenses of the houses, and the volleys 
sweeping through the ranks seemed to tear the soldiers 
down. The Prussians fired much more quickly than theu' 
opponents, but they could not see to take their aim; the 
houses, trees and smoke from the Austrian discharges, 
shrouded the villages. Sheltered by this, the Austrian 
Jagers fired blindly when they could tell, by hearing where 
the attacking columns were, and the shots told tremen- 
dously on the Prussians in their close formations; but the 
latter improved their positions, although slowly, and by 
dint of sheer courage and perseverance, for they lost men 
at every yard of their advance, and in some places almost 
paved the way with wounded. Then, to help the infantry, 
the Prussian artillery turned its fire, regardless of the 
enemy's batteries, on the villages, and made tremendous 
havoc amongst the houses. Mokrowens and Dohilnitz 
both caught fire, and the shells fell quickly and with fear- 
ful eflfect among the defenders of the flaming hamlets; 
the Austrian ^ns also played upon the attacking infantry, 
but at this time these were sheltered from their fire by the 
houses and trees between. 

'" In and around the villages the fighting continued for 
nearly an hour; then the Austrian infantry who had been 
there, driven out by a rush of the Prussians, retired, but 



only a little way up the slope into a line with their bat- 
teries. The wood above Sadowa was strongly held, and 
that between Sadowa and Benatek, teeming with rifle- 
men, stood to bar the way of the Seventh Division. But 
General Franksy, who commanded this division, was not 
to be easily stopped, and he sent his infantry at the wood, 
and turned his artillery on the Austrian batteries. The 
Seventh Division began firing into the trees, but found 
that they could not make any impression, for the defenders 
were concealed, and musketry fire was useless against 
them. Then Franksy let them go, and they dashed in 
with the bayonet. The Austrians would not retire, but 
waited for the struggle ; and in the wood above Benatek 
was fought out one of the fiercest combats which the war 
has seen. The 27th Prussian went in nearly 3,000 strong, 
with 90 officers, and came out on the farther side with 
only two officers and between 300 and 400 men standing ; 
all the rest were killed or wounded. The other regiments 
of the division also suffered much, but not in the same 
proportion ; but the wood was carried. The Austrian line 
was now driven in on both flanks, but its commander 
formed a new line of battle a little higher up the hill, round 
Lipa, still holding the wood which lies above Sadowa. 

"Meanwhile, General Bittenfeld was fighting a des- 
perate battle with the Saxon troops at Nechanitz, a vil- 
lage seven miles from Sadowa. Courageously did the 
Saxons meet the foe, but they were slowly driven back- 
ward upon the main body of the Austrian army. The 
Prussians now endeavored to carry the wood above Sad- 
owa and Dolhilnitz, a very important strategical point, 
but the Austrian batteries played upon them with mur- 
derous effect. The whole battle line of the Prussians 

388 KIKa WtLLIAH t. 

could gain no more ground, and was obliged to fight hard 
to retain the position it had won. At one time it seemed 
as if it would be lost, for guns had been dismounted by tlie 
Austrian fire, and in the wooded ground the needle-gun 
had no fair field, and the infantry fight was very equal. 
Bittenfeld, too, seemed checked upon the right. The 
smoke of his musketry and artillery, which had hitherto 
been pushing forward steadily, stood still for a time. 
Franksy's men, cut to pieces, could not be sent forward 
to attack the Sadowa wood, for they would have exposed 
themselves to be taken in rear by the artillery on the right 
of the Austrian line formed in front of Lipa. All the 
artillery was engaged except eight batteries, and these 
had to be retained in case of a reverse, for at one time the 
firing in the Sadowa wood, and of the Prussian artillery on 
the slope, seemed almost as if drawing back toward Bis- 
tritz. The first army was certainly checked in its ad- 
vance, if not actually being pushed back. It is said, at 
this point King William showed great nervousness and 

The chances of victory were now exactly even for both 
armies, and the moment was critical. The Prussian gen- 
erals were waiting uneasily for the Crown Prince, and the 
position relninded the Times corveaipondent of the closing 
of the battle of Waterloo, when the Duke of Wellington 
so anxiously awaited the coming of Blucher. But at half- 
past one in the afternoon the army of the Crown Prince 
emerged into view, and at once engaged the Austrian 
right. The Austrian failed to carry the village of Klum, 
and now found themselves exposed to a cross fire. What 
followed is thus described : "Suddenly a spattering of mus- 
ketry breaks out of the trees and houses of Klum, right 


down on the Austrian gunners, and on the cohimns of in- 
fantry drawn up on the slopes below. The gunners fall 
on all sides — their horses are disabled — the firing in- 
creases in intensity — the Prussians press on over the 
plateau : this is an awful catastrophe — two columns of 
Austrians are led against the village; but they can not 
stand the fire, and after three attempts to carry it, retreat, 
leaving the hill-side covered with the fallen. It is a ter- 
rible moment. The Prussians see their advantage ; they 
here enter into the very center of the position. In vain 
the staff-ofiicers fly to the reserves, and hasten to call 
back some of the artillery from the front. The dark blue 
regiments multiply on all sides, and from their edges roll 
perpetually sparkling musketry. Their guns hurry up, 
and from the slope take both the Austrians on the extreme 
right and the reserves in flank. They spread away to the 
woods near the Prague road, and fire into the rear of the 
Austrian gunners. 

" The lines of dark blue which came in sight from the 
right teemed from the vales below as if the earth yielded 
them. They filled the whole background of the awful 
picture, of which Elum was the center. They pressed 
down on the left of the Prague road. In square, in 
column, deployed, or wheeling hither and thither — every- 
where pouring in showers of deadly precision — penetrat- 
ing the whole line of the Austrians — still they could not 
force their stubborn enemy to fly. On ail sides they met 
brave but unfortunate men ready to die if they could do 
no more. At the side of the Prague road the fight went 
on with incredible vehemence. The Austrians had still 
an immense force of artillery; and although its concen- 
trated fire swept the ground before it, its effect was lost 


in degree by reason of the rising ground above, and at 
last by its divergence to so many points to answer the 
enemy's cannon. Chesta and Visa were now burning, so 
til at from right to left the flames of ten villages, and the 
flashes of guns and musketry, contended with the sun, 
that pierced the clouds for the honor of illuminating the 
seas of steel and the fields of carnage. It was three 
o'clock. The efforts of the Austrians to occupy Klum 
and free their center had failed ; their right was driven 
down in a helpless mass towards Koniggratz, quivering and 
palpitating as shot and shell tore through it. ^AUes iat 
verloTenP Artillery still thundered with a force and 
violence which might have led a stranger to such scenes 
to think no enemy could withstand it. The Austrian 
cavalry still hung like white thunder-clouds on the flanks, 
and threatened the front of the Prussians, keeping them 
in square and solid columns. But alreadv the trains were 
steaming away from Koniggratz, placing the Elbe and 
Adler between them and the enemy." 

Thus was the battle of Sadowa, or, as it was called by 
King William " The battle of Konigsgratz," won by the 
Prussian army. It was probably the shortest and most 
decisive battle, where half a million men confronted each 
other in deadly array, which was ever fought. The Prus- 
sian loss was 9,000 men, that of the Austrians and Saxons 
24,000 killed and wounded, besides the 20,000 prisoners, 
the loss of 161 guns, 5 colors, and an immense amount of 
war material and army stores. During the whole cam- 
paign Austria had lost 40,000 prisoners, 200 pieces of 
artillery, and 11 stand of colors. More, the army was 
in a state of complete dissolution, and General Benedek 
experienced great difficulty in bringing its shattered rem- 


nants into the fortress of Olmutz for reorganization. Many 
interesting reminiscenses of this great conflict are told 
concerning the individual part taken by King William. 
In a letter to his wife the day after the battle, Bismarck 
said : " On the 3d the King exposed himself to danger all 
day, and it was very fortunate that I was with him, for he 
would not listen to advice from anybody else. No one 
would have dared to speak to him as I did on one occasion, 
when the bodies of ten troopers and fifteen horses of the 
Sixth Regiment of Cuirassiers lay bathed in blood close by, 
and the shells were bursting in close proximity to the 
King. He was very enthusiastic about his troops, and 
rightly so, and did not appear to notice the shells that 
were whizzing and bursting about him." 

In another letter Bismarck said : 

" The attention of the King was wholly fixed on the 
progress of the battle. To my repeated request that his 
Majesty might not so carelessly expose himself to the 
murderous fire, he only answered : " The Commander-in 
Chief must be where he ought to be." Later on, at the 
village of Lipa, when the King in person had ordered the 
cavalry to advance, and the shells were again falling round 
him, I ventured to renew my request, saying, '* If your 
Majesty will take no care of your own person, have pity 
at least on your (poor) Minister-President, from whom 
your faithful Prussian people will again demand their 
King ; and in the name of that people I entreat you to 
leave this dangerous spot." Then the King gave me his 
hand, with a " Well, then, Bismarck, let us ride on a little." 
So saying, his Majesty wheeled his black mare, and put 
her into as easy a canter as if he had been riding down 
the Linden to the Tliiergarten, But for all that I felt 


very uneasy about him ; and so, edging up with my dark 
chestnut to the King's horse, I gave her a good kick from 
behind with the toe of my boot ; she made a bound for- 
ward, and the King looked around in astonishment. 
With a glance which convinced me that he knew of my 
action, but without another word he rode out of the 
range of the shells." 

King William, fully appreciating the fact that but for 
the timelv arrival of Crown Prince Frederick William 
and his army upon the field at Klum, the day would have 
been lost, and upon the impulse of the moment, sent his 
son, by a special courier, the Order ^^Pour le Merited'* but 
the Prince was not to be found. Late in the evening, 
and by mere accident, they met on the field, and, recog- 
nizing each other, fell into each other's arms. 

Thereupon the King took the Order ^^Pour le Merit^^ 
from his breast, and hung it about his son's neck. 

The imperturbable coolness of General Moltke under 
fire is well illustrated by a writer in the Deutsche Re- 
view for October, 1884, in which he relates the following 
interesting episode at Sadowa : 

"At a critical point in the battle Bismarck met Moltke, 
and offered him a cigar. The strategist carefully selected 
the best weed in the Chancellor's case, and the latter took 
comfort, thinking to himself that if the General was still 
calm enough to 'make a choice of the best cigar in the 
whole lot, things could not be going so very bad with them 
after all." 

The unexpected victory of the Prussians at Sadowa, 
threw the government at Vienna into a state of dismay 
and irresolution. In his sore distress and in the hope of 
securing Napoleon III. for an ally, the Emperor, who but 


a short month before had solemnly declared to the world, 
that all his hopes and aims were in the direction of a 
United Germany, was now found oflfering to cede to the 
implacable foe of Germany the Italian city and province 
of Venice ; to be held, to be sure, in trust for Italy. By 
this expectation, however, King Victor Emanuel was not 
dissuaded from carrying out his obligations as Prussia's 
ally, and Napoleon III. not deeming it prudent to oilend 
victorious Prussia just at that time, Austria's hope for a 
repetition of the Maria Theresa policy was not realized, 
and the Emperor was left to his own resources. His 
request for an armistice was promptly rejected, as were, 
also the mediatory overtures made by the Emperor of the 
French. Orders were issued for an immediate advance. 
The army of Silesia was sent towards Olmiitz, as a corps 
of observation against General Benedek, while King Will- 
iam himself marched his army through Brunn toward 
Nickelburg, where, on the 17th of July, he established his 
headquarters. During these movements the ad vance-guard 
of his army had already reached so short a distance from 
Vienna that its camp-fires could be discerned at night by 
the astonished inhabitants. 

A few days after the battle of Sadowa, and after his 
humble demand for an armistice had been refected, Em- 
peror Francis Joseph, in a manifesto to his " faithful peo- 
ple of the Kingdom of Hungary," — which composed the 
principal fighting population of Austria, — cooly informed 
them that "To put an end to the unequal contest — to 
gain time and opportunity to fill up the voids occasioned 
by the campaign — and to concentrate his forces against 
the hostile troops occupying the northern portion of his 
Empire, he had consented, with great sacrifices, to nego- 
tiations for the conclusion of an armistice." 


He then made the following piteous appeal for help 
from the Hungarians, his subdued subjects, who, but a 
few years before, had seen their best and most patriotic 
sons perish on the gallows or die traitors' deaths at the 
hands of Austrian executioners : 

" I now turn confidently to the faithful peoples of my 
Kingdom of Hungary, and to that readiness to make 
sacrifices so repeatedly displayed in arduous times. The 
united exertions of my entire Empire must be set in motion, 
that the conclusion of the wished-for peace may be secured 
upon fair conditions. It is my profound belief, that the 
warlike sons of Hungary, actuated by the feeling of 
hereditary fidelity, will voluntarily hasten under my 
banners, to the assistance of their kindred, and for the 
protection of their country, also immediately threatened 
by the events of war. Eally, therefore, in force to the 
defense o^ the invaded Empire ! Be worthy sons of your 
valiant forefathers, whose heroic deeds gained never-fading 
wreaths of laurel for the glory of the Hungarian name." 

Having now lost all hope in French intervention, the 
Emperor of Austria finally concluded to approach King 
William with propositions of peace. Both the King and 
Bismarck were determined, that while they did not intend 
to extend the territorial limits of Prussia at Austria's 
expense, they unreservedly demanded that Power's exclu- 
sion hereafter in the affairs of Germany. The prelimi- 
naries for peace with this understanding began at Nichol- 
son, were ratified and the agreement signed at Prague, 
August 23, 1866. 

The chief stipulations of the treaty were : 

1. The German Confederation is dissolved. 

3. That Germany re-construct itself anew, with exclu- 


sion of Austria, and in the manner that the German States 
lying north of the Main river enter into a confederation 
with Prussia; while the States lying south of that line 
shall form an independent confederation among them- 
selves, of which the national connections with the North 
German Confederation is reserved for future arrangement. 

3. Austria shall waive all right to Schleswig-Holstein. 

4. Austria to pay Prussia twenty million thalers war 
indemnity. (About the same sum in English.) All acces- 
sions of territory in North Germany by Prussia to be 
sanctioned by Austria. Saxony to be allowed to retain 
her King, provided she joins the North German Con- 
federation — a most unmerited »nct of generosity, when it 
is considered that the reigning dynasty of this Kingdom 
seemed to have inherited a " penchant" for slavish subser- 
viency to foreign dictation. 

On the day when this Treaty of Prague was signed — 
though as yet he was unaware of it — Thomas Carlyle 
wrote to a friend : " That Germany is to stand on her 
feet henceforth, and not be dismembered on the high- 
way; but face all manner of Napoleons, and hungry, 
sponging dogs, with clear steel in her hands and an 
honest purpose in her heart — this seems to me the best 
news we or Europe have heard for the last forty years or 
more. May the heavens prosper it ! Many thanks also 
for Bismarck's photograph ; he has a Royal enough phys- 
iognomy, and I more and more believe him to be a highly 
considerable man; perhaps the nearest approach to a 
Cromwell that is possible in these poor times." 

Although King William had ample justification, it was 
not his desire to humiliate Austria by an aggrandizement 
of Prussian territory at her expense. He had placed 


her where she could do no more harm to Germanv, and 
where she was powerless to impede her political and re- 
ligious progress ; that accomplishment had been his sole 
end, and he magnanimously refused to take advantage of 
his position to obtain more. As to Austria's auxiliaries of 
the South German States, Bismarck had but little diffi- 
culty to encounter in the way of an amicable understand- 
ing with them. General Von Falkenstein, who had been 
left in the South German States, did not deem it wise to 
shed more blood of his misguided countrymen than was 
absolutely necessary, having been called to Bohemia to 
assume administrative duties, relinquished his command to 
General Manteuff el, who entered into an armistice with the 
princes, thus closing the unbloody chapter of this Austro- 
Prussian war. 

On the 13th, 17th and 22d of August, a compact was 
entered into between Prussia, representing the North- 
German Bund, and Wttrtemburg, Baden and Bavaria, on 
the other, by which it was agreed, that in case of war 
they should stand by each other, and that in such an event 
all troops should be placed under the command of Prus- 
sia. On the 3d of September Hesse-Darmstadt, and on 
October 2 1st Saxony followed suit. The great ground- 
work for the definite unification of Get^many had now 
been safely laid, consequently the idea for which King 
William had been laboring, and for which he had risked 
his popularity and his throne, had been realized. The 
only feature in this final settlement, which has caused many 
regrets and heart-burnings, was the necessary abandon- 
ment to Austria of its German population, which had 
always been loval to the German cause. The brave 
mountaineers, as well as many German citizens of Vienna, 
were in hearty sympathy with the German cause* 


"With laurel-entwined banners, King William, Bismarck, 
Moltke and their trusted regiments made this triumphal 
entry into the Prussian capital, amid the shouts of a 
grateful and enthusiastic people. 

The gallant and soldierly King rode first on horseback, 
and was accompanied by Count Bismarck and Generals 
Moltke, Roon, and others. Says a correspondent of an 
English newspaper, describing the scene immediately be- 
fore the brilliant cavalcade passed down the Linden: 
" For my part I could spare but little attention for the 
King himself. A few yards farther on there stood a 
group of horsemen. One was General Von Roon, the 
Minister of War, another was (Jeneral Moltke, the soldier 
to whom, more than any single person, the conduct and 
conception of the campaign are due. On the extreme 
right, in the white uniform of a Major-General of Land- 
wehr Cuirassiers, a broad-shouldered, short-necked man 
sat mounted on a brown bay mare. Very still and silent 
the rider sits, waiting patiently until the interview be- 
tween the King and the civic authorities is concluded. 
The skin of his face is parchment-colored, with dull 
leaden-hued blotches about the cheeks; the eyes are 
bloodless; the veins about the forehead are swollen; the 
great heavy helmet presses upon the wrinkled brows ; the 
man looks as if he had risen from a sick-bed which he 
ought never to have left. That is Count Bismarck- 
Schonhausen, Prime Minister of Prussia. Yesterday he 
was said to be well nigh dying ; ugly rumors floated 
about the town ; his doctors declared that rest, absolute 
rest, was the only remedy upon which they could base 
their hopes of his recovery. But to-day it was important 
that the Premier should show himself. The iron will. 


which had never swerved before any obstacle, was not to 
be dauated by physical pain or to be swayed by medical 
remonstrances. And so, to the astonishment of all those 
who knew how critical his state of health had been but a 
few hours before, Count Bismarck put on his uniform and 
rode out to-day to take his place in the royal cortege. 
Even now the man, who has made a united Germany a 
possibility, and has raised Prussia from the position of a 
second-rate Power to the highest rank among Continental 
empires, is but scantily honored in his own country ; and 
the cheers with which he was gi'eeted were tame com- 
pared with those which welcomed the generals who had 
been the instruments of the work his brain had planned. 
But to those, I think, who looked at all beyond the 
excitement of the day — the true hero of that brilliant 
gathering was neither King nor Prince of the blood- 
royal — general nor soldier, but the sallow, livid-looking 
statesman, who was there in spite of racking pain and 
doctora' advice and the commonest caution, in order that 
his work might be completed to the end." 

By way oi marking the day with a white stone, an 
amnesty was proclaimed for all persons who had been 
convicted of high treason or other offenses against the 
Crown, resistance to the State authorities, violation of 
public order, offenses committed by the press in infringe- 
ment of the Press Law of 1851, and for infractions of the 
ordinance of the 11th of March, 1851, regulating the right 
of public meetings. 

With a feeling of self-satisfaction and excusable pride 
the King opened the sessions of the Prussian House of 
Kepresentatives in person. In his sj^eech from the throne, 
which he read in a dignified manner and calm tone of 


voice, he referred to the recent success achieved by the 
Government, which had been gained in spite of the Cham- 
ber, and now asked the representatives to ratify the bill 
of expenditures. This request was acceded to by a vote 
of 230 against 75. 

From this time on political aflFairs moved along more 
smoothly, and a commonness of interest throughout Ger- 
many infused new life into every branch of industry and 
trade. Within a year the representatives of the annexed 
States were admitted to seats in the Prussian House of 
Eepresen tat i ves. 

On the 24th of February, 1867, the Parliament of the 
newly-formed Korth-German Confederation opened its first 
session, and on the 17th of April following its Constitution 
was proclaimed. This fundamental law guaranteed to the 
people of all the States north of the Main line, equal 
citizenship, equality of commercial laws, of jurisprudence, 
of weights arid measures, of money and equal telegraph 
and postal accommodations. Each State was left to man- 
age its own local affairs according to the taste and con- 
venience of its people. 

In closing the session of this memorable Parliament, 
King William pointedly and truthfully said: "As the 
direction of the German mind generally is turned toward 
peace and her labors, the Confederate Association of the 
German States will mainly assume a defensive character. 
The German movement of recent years has borne no 
hostile tendency toward our neighbors, no striving after 
conquest, but has arisen solely from the necessity of 
affording the broad domains, from the Alps to the sea, 
the essential conditions of political progress, which the 
march of development in former centuries has impeded. 


The German races unite only for defense, not for attack; 
and that their brotherhood is also regarded in this light 
by neighboring nations is proved by the friendly attitude 
of the mightiest European States, which see Germany, 
without apprehension and envy, take possession of those 
same advantages of a great political commonwealth which 
they themselves have already enjoyed for centuries. 

"It therefore now only depends upon us, upon our 
unity and our patriotism, to secure to the whole of Ger- 
many the guarantees of a future in which, free from the 
danger of again falling into dissension and weakness, she 
will be able to further, by her own decision, her Constitu- 
tional development and prosperity, and to fulfill her 
peace-loving mission in the Council of Nations. I trust 
in God that posterity, looking back upon our common 
labors, will not say that the experience of former unsuc- 
cessful attempts has been useless to the German people ; 
but that, on the other hand, our children will thankfully 
regard this Parliament as the commencement of the 
unity, freedom and power of the Germans. 

" Gentlemen, all Germany, even beyond the limits of 
our Confederation, anxiously awaits the decisions that 
may be arrived at here. May the dream of centuries, the 
yearning and striving of the latest generations, be realized 
by our common labors I In the name of all the allied 
Governments — in the name of Germany — I confidently 
call upon you to help us to carry out rapidly and safely 
the great national task. And may the blessing of God, 
upon which everything depends, accompany and promote 
the patriotic work 1 " 

These lofty sentiments found lodgment in every 
German hearty and, indeed, the benefit of the newly- 

tfi£ AU8TBO-P&US8IAN WA&. 405 

formed union to the people was becoming daily more 
apparent. Of this period of contentment and prosperity, 
says a recent writer: 

" The benefits which their new union was to confer on 
the German States were not long in showing themselves 
in every department of legislative administration and 
trade, and attracted the recognition of foreign nations. 
The people of the districts annexed to Prussia in 1866 
were so wisely governed, that most of them soon became 
not mere subjects, but patriotic citizens of that Kingdom. 
The States which had taken up arms against Prussia rapidly 
forgot their enmity; and the whole German people soon 
began to regret that the Main line had been suffered to 
limit the new union on the South. The Southern States, 
however, had been more closely bound to the Northern by 
their treaties of offensive and defensive alliances; and 
still more so by the ZoUverein, which was now more 
firmly established under the administration of a Customs- 
Parliament of all the States. There still continued to be 
a party of " Particularists " in Southern Germany, whose 
local prejudices and aims opposed the national policy of 
union ; but its strength depended upon merely temporary 
interests, and it was not important enough to resist the 
overwhelming popular sentiment. In Prussia, and with- 
in the new Confederation, the bitterness of hostility 
formerly shown to the Government, now disappeared. 
Austria at first showed a disposition to continue its policy 
of resistance to Prussian ascendency in Germany, and 
Beust, the late Premier of Saxony and long the foe of 
Austria, was made Chancellor of the Empire ; but the 
Government gradually become more and more concilia- 



IT IS known that previous to the war with Austria, and 
while this power was coquetting with Emperor 
Napoleon, Mr. Beneditti, the French ambassador at Berlin, 
had been instructed to demand from the Prussian govern- 
ment the cession of the German provinces along the left 
bank of the Rhine, in consideration of France's neutrality 
in the coming struggle with Austria, and to threaten 
Prussia with war in case of refusal. " Then let there be 
war," promptly replied Bismarck. Beneditti evidently not 
being prepared for such a manly reply, quietly dropped the 
subject for the time being. Furthermore, Napoleon III. 
was not prepared for war just then. The French army had 
not received its complement of the new Chassepot mus- 
kets yet, the efficiency of which was to excel the Prussian 
needle-gun in rapidity and precision. He also fondly 
hoped that Prussia would emerge from a war with Aus- 
tria in a damaged condition, and consequently be unable 
to refuse a demand for the Rhine frontiers when again 

Having been disappointed in this expectation, the 
French turned upon Napoleon, charging him with weak- 
ness and indecision in not preventing the unification of 
Germany, when the Austro-Prussian war had offered such 
a splendid opportunity. They, also, began to clamor for 
their share in the new division of Europe, and their 
demands in that direction being refused by Prussia, they 
began to bluster about a war of revenge. In 1867 the 



Luxemburg question was siezed upon with avidity as an 
excellent pretext for a war with the hated tete carri across 
the Rhine ; and the opening of hostilities was only averted 
by Prussia's magnanimous evacuation of the fortress. In 
1870 a most welcome pretext for an attack upon Prussia 
by France was found in the circumstance that Prince 
Leopold of HohenzoUern Sigmaringen, a distant relative 
of Emperor William, had been offered the Spanish Crown ; 
but this pretext havmg been removed by the Prince's 
prompt refusal of the proffered honor, a war with France 
was again averted. The French press grew furious at being 
thus disappointed, and its columns were daily filled with ful- 
minating articles against Germany. On the 8th of July a 
scurrilous attack upon Prussia appeared in iheMoniteur — 
the official organ of the Government — in which the 
writer said : " The time for taking revenge on account of 
the affront suffered at the hands of Prussia, has come 1 " 
The entire Parisian press soon followed suit. The influ- 
ential Le Paya^ for instance, boasted that in case of a 
refusal to the just demands of France, the yoke was ready 
for Prussia, who would not dare to cross swords with the 
victorious legions of France; and the flighty Emil de 
Gerardine flippantly referred, in his La Liberie^ to a tour 
de promenade to Berlin, where, within a fortnight, they 
would enjoy a glass of absinthe " wUer den ZindenJ^ In 
short, day after day, the easily excited Parisians were 
supplied with the most inflammatory appeals against the 
hated Prussians, until the well-known French "Chauven- 
isme" had worked itself into such a fever heat that it 
could only be cooled in the blood of the Prussian tete de 

The refusal of Napoleon III. at this time to gratify the 


French longing for glory would have cost him his impe- 
rial crown. This evidently was Duke de Graraont's opin- 
ion when he insisted upon a personal apology from King 
William, while at Ems, in reference to the HohenzoUern 
occupation of the Spanish throne. King William, at this 
impudent demand, turned upon his heel and left the 
French Ambassador to his own construction of the inter- 
view. Thus was reached the culminating point between 
the two peoples. The next day, the 14th of July, 1870, 
Minister Beneditti was recalled and a declaration of war 
immediately made by the French. 

History affords no parallel to the infatuation — border- 
ing upon stupidity — ^with which the French entered into 
this war, the result of which, under the most favorable 
circumstances was doubtful. War Minister Leboeuf, who 
declared as to the fitness of the French Army to engage 
in a war with Germany, was either ignorant himself of 
the true condition of Napoleon's forces, or he had been 
deceived by the reports of his Department commanders. 
When, however, the actual facts came to light that the 
real strength of the armv had been overestimated and its 
supply of ammunition, food and forage was insufficient 
for an offensive campaign, it was too late for Leboeuf to 
call a halt. Again, hostile demonstrations had been so 
open and avowedly in earnest as to surprise the ever-ready, 
watchful Prussian General Moltke. Napoleon III. had 
also fallen into the egregious error of supposing that 
the disaffection of the South German States would 
eventually redound to his favor. He pretended to know 
that Hanover, Saxony and Hesse-Cassel were only watch- 
ing for a favorable opportunity to revenge themselves 
for the loss of their sovereigns and independence, and 


would join in an attack against Prussia made by the 

But instead of a distracted and dissatisfied country, 
he was met at the threshold by a united Germany — by 
a people ready to do and die for the common Fatherland. 
Bavaria, where the Ultramontane party had labored in 
vain to stem the patriotic impulse of the people, promptly 
fell into line, as did Wtirtemburg, where the same treason- 
able influence had been at work. But, not only in Ger- 
many were the people aroused to united action, and to a 
determination, now and forever, to emancipate themselves 
from foreign dictation, but the Germans all over tlie globe 
were to a man in sentiment with their countrymen at 

The German-Americans, more especially, furnished 
abundant proof of their devotion to their mother-country, 
and by enthusiastic public demonstrations, and by liberal 
contributions, lent to the cause their moral as well as 
material support. 

The return of King William from Ems to Berlin was 
one continued ovation, and when the order for the mobili- 
zation of the German army came, it seemed as if the 
master hand of a great clockwork had pressed the spring 
and the colossal machinery was set in motion. With won- 
derful precision and astounding rapidity were the armed 
masses collected at the appointed rendesvous, and before 
Emperor Napoleon, who had prognosticated and planned 
a war of invasion, could complete his preparations, there 
stood before the gates of France 450,000 armed Germans. 

King William left Berlin on the 25th of Jul}^ 1870, to 
take supreme command of the army in the field, which 
stood about as follows : The Seventh Corps from West- 


phalia, and the Eighth from the Rhine province, were 
situated on the lower Rhine, and were commanded by 
General Steinmetz, and formed the right wing of the 
Gepman army. The Royal Guards, commanded by 
Prince August, of WUrtemberg; the Third Corps from 
Brandenburg, and tlie Fourth from Saxony, under Gen. 
Alvensleben; the Ninth from Schleswig-Holstein and 
Hesse, under Maiistein; the Tenth from Hanover, Bruns- 
wick and Oldenburg under Voigts-Rutz ; and the Twelfth, 
under Albert, Crown Prince of Saxony, stationed in the 
Palatinate, but ready to march either south or westward, 
formed the center, under the general command of Prince 
Frederick Charles. The Fifth Corps from Silesia and 
Posen, under Kirchbach; the Eleventh from Hesse, 
Nassau and Thuringia, under Bose; and the First and 
Second Bavarian Corps, under Von der Tann ond Hart- 
mann, with divisions from Wtlrtemburg and Baden, all 
under the chief command of the Crown Prince of Pinissia, 
formed the left. In addition to this force of 450,000 men, 
there were four corps, or 100,000 men, stationed in the 
interior, and pushing in forced marches toward the French 
frontier, besides 400,000 Landwehr, which could be 
called upon in case of need. 

To this vast army of nearly a million men, France had 
but 300,000 to oppose it. But, infatuated to blindness, 
thej'' still imagined that the march upon Berlin was possi- 
ble. Emperor Napoleon himself appeared to be as eager 
for the fray as the rest of his countrymen. He began by 
attacking a small detachment of Prussian troops at Saar- 
brlick on the 2d of August. He met little resistance here, 
the withdrawal of the Prussians causing Napoleon to 
send to Paris the most remarkable bulletins of the vie- 

on Vronprin] Kionprinj von 

prin3 Betnriifr 



tory. It was upon this occasion that he penned to the 
Empress Eugenia the famous account of her son's " bap- 
tism of fire." 

But on the ith of August the work was begun by 
Prussia in earnest. It was the duty of the Prussian Crown 
Prince, with his troops from the South German States, 
to invade Alsace, and by passing through the Vosges turn 
the right of the French armies who were between the Saar 
and the fortress of Metz. Marshal MacMahon, with a force 
exceeding 40,000 men, stood in his path; but so swift and 
decided was the Crown Prince's movements that, on the 4th 
of August, he had advanced from Landau andGermersheim, 
attacked and defeated a division of MacMahon's corps at 
"Weissenbourg, and on the 6th came up with MacMahon's 
main forces at Woerth, where the Bavarians, Wtirtem- 
burgers and Badeners gave proof of their devotion to the 
common cause by completely routing his army. 

On the same day, General Kamecke, coming up with a 
part of the Seventh Army Corps, attacked General Frossard 
who held the steep height of Spichem, and after a stub- 
born resistance, drove him from the field towards Forbach. 
Thus, in the short time of two days, had the Germans not 
only frustrated Napoleon's plan of invadingGerman}'^, but 
ha(l driven him to assume the defensive and compelled him 
to abandon a large strip of territory. His next mov^ was 
to concentrate his armies to the rear. In the meanwhile 
glowing telegrams of victories had been sent to Paris, 
throwing the populace into a deliri um of joy. But the true 
state of affairs soon began to be known, and when the 
news of the terrible reverses met by the army at last burst 
upon them, it was with great diflBculty that a revolution 
against the Imperial regime was repressed, even at this 
early stage of the campaign. 


But their cup of disappointment and bitterness had 
hardly received a drop compared to the stream that soon 

The invading army now formed a continuous, unbi*oken 
line. On the 14th, the first armj' under Steinmetz had 
advanced to the immediate vicinity of Metz ; just in time 
to intercept the Third French Arm}^ Corps which covered 
the rear of General Bazaine's forces on their march toward 
Verdun. The bloody battle at Courcelles which followed, 
terminated disastrously for Bazaine, and compelled him 
to retreat under the walls of Metz. On the 16th, Bazaine 
made another effort to march to Verdun ; but as the 
Prussians under General Alvensleben had taken possession 
of the village of St. Hilaire, on the Verdun road, and of 
the villages of Mars la Tour and Vionville, his movements 
were agjiin interrupted, and the battles which were fought 
here were the most sanguinary of the war. The situation 
was held by 33,000 Germans against an overwhelming force 
of 150,000 French troops for the space of three hours, 
when 30,000 men were sent to their relief. At the most 
critical point of this battle. General Bredow, in charge of 
the cavalry brigade, composed of the Seventh Regiment of 
Cuirassiers and the Sixteenth Uhlans, received an order 
from General Alvensleben, to clear the edge of the woods 
in front of his infantry. The terrible scene which there- 
upon followed, forms the bloodiest and at the same time 
the most heroic episode of the Franco-Prussian war, and 
will stand in the annals of modem warfare as the worthy 
counterpart of the famous cavalry charge at Balaklava. 
" On they went," says an English account of the affair, " up 
to the batteries in front and took them ; then fell upon 
columns of infantry and scattered them ; then attacked a 


battery of mitrailleuse, when two French cavalry regi- 
ments of cuirassiers were hurled upon them, and the 
Germans in their fatigue had to cut their way back along 
a pathway of blood. But half of them returned. The loss 
on both sides on that day was 15,000 killed and wounded. 

Bazaine was now compelled to abandon his plan of 
marching to Verdun. Moving his exhausted troops to a 
position between Qravelotte and Privat-la-Montagne, he 
decided to give tliem a day's rest before attempting another 
engagement. But the following day the whole of the First 
and Second German armies had reached the left bank of 
the Moselle, increasing their effective strength to 200,000 
men — the force which General Bazaine would have to cope 
with. This army was commanded by King William in 
person, with Prince Frederick Charles, Moltke, Boon, 
Steinmetz and Bismarck at his side. On the afternoon of 
the 18thj the great battle of Gravelotte, which was to de- 
cide the fate of the flower of the French army, and con- 
sequently of the French Empire, began. The Germans 
in pressing forward through the narrow defiles were lit- 
erally mowed down and lay in heaps on the road-sides. At 
four o'clock, however, the right of the French army had 
been turned by the Guards and the Saxons, and now 
began the murderous assault upon St Privat, the key of 
the French situation. It was dark when the village was 
captured, and now followed the rout of the French army, 
which fled in disorder towards Metz. 

This victory was purchased at an enormous sacrifice by 
the Germans. The French had fought with their old- 
time valor — that valor which at Austerlitz and Jena had 
given them world-wide fame. They had lost 12,000 men 
in killed and wounded, but had inflicted a loss upon the 


Germans of 20,000, who were compelled to attack them 
in their own chosen position. Bazaine and his army had 
taken refuge in the fortress of Metz, and Frederick Charles 
with 160,000 men, was left to prevent his escape, while 
the rest of the army took up their march toward Chalons 
where it was supposed Emperor Napoleon and MacMahon 
had concentrated the remaining main strength of the 
French army. On the 25th the news reached the King, 
however, that MacMahon had left Chalons and was 
marching his army towards Reims, with the intention, it 
was conceived, of relieving Bazaine. Upon the advice of 
General Moltke the King prom])tly changed his march 
northward. On the 30th a French corps of MacMahon's 
command was surprised in their camp near Beaumont, 
which, although reinforced, ended in the defeat of the 
French and their withdrawal upon Sedan, where the final 
act of the great Napoleonic drama was to be played. 

The events which immediately culminated in the sur- 
render of Sedan, as well as the particulars of the sur- 
render itself, were very graphically described in a letter 
written by King William himself to Queen Augusta, at Ber- 
lin. No other account gives a better description of the 
events than this, and, as it is also deeply interesting from 
a personal point of view, we shall give it entire. The 
letter, dated Vendresse, south of Sedan, September 3d, is 
as follows : 

"You will have learned through my three telegrams 
the whole extent of the great historical event which 
has just taken place. It is like a dream, even when one 
has seen it unroll itself hour by hour; but when I con- 
sider that after one great successful war I could not ex- 
pect anything more glorious during my reign, and that I 


now see this act follow, destined to be famous in the 
history of the world, I bow before God, who aJone has 
chosen my army and allies to cai'ry it into execution, 
and has chosen us cOs the instruments of His will. It 
is only in this sense that I can conceive this work, and in 
all humility praise God's guidance and grace. I will now 
give you a picture of the battle and its results in a com- 
pressed form. On the evening of the 31st and the morn- 
ing of the 1st, the army had reached its appointed posi- 
tions round Sedan. The Bavarians held the left wing, 
near Bazeilles, on the Meuse; next them the Saxons, to- 
ward Moncelle and Daigny ; the Guards still marching to- 
ward Givonne, the Fifth and Eleventh Corps towards St. 
Menges and Fleigneux. As the Meuse here makes a sharp 
bend, no corps had been posted fi*om St. ]Menges to Don- 
chery ; but at the latter place there were WUrtemburgers, 
who covered the rear against sallies from M6zi^res. Count 
Stol berg's cavalry division was in the plain of Donchery 
as right wing ; the rest of the Bavarians were in the front 
toward Sedan. . 

"Notwithstanding a thick fog, the battle began at 
Bazeilles early fnthe morning, and a sharp action devel- 
oped itself by degrees, in which it was necessary to take 
house by house. It lasted nearly all day, and Scholer's 
Erfurt Division (Reserve Fourth Corps) was obliged to as- 
sist. It was at eight o'clock, when I reached the front before 
Sedan, that the great battle commenced. A hot artillerj^ 
action now began at all points. It lasted for hom-s, and 
during it we gradually gained ground. As the above- 
named villages were taken, very deep and wooded ravines 
made the advance of the infantrv more difficult, and 
favored the defense. The villages of Bly and Floing 


were taken, and the fiery circle drew gradually closer 
round Sedan. It was a grand sight from our position on 
a commanding height behind the above-mentioned bat- 
tery, when we looked to the front beyond Pont Torey. 
The violent resistance of the enemy began to slacken by 
degrees, which we could see by the broken battalions that 
were hurriedly retreating from the woods and villages. 
The cavalry endeavored to attack several battalions of 
our Fifth Corps, and the latter behaved admirably. The 
cavalry galloped through the interval between the bat- 
talions, and then returned the same way. This was re- 
peated three times, so that the ground was covered with 
corpses and horses, all of which we could see very well 
from our position. I have not been able to learn the 
number of this brave regiment, as the retreat of the enemy 
was in many places a flight. The infantry, cavalry and 
artillery rushed in a crowd into the town and its imme- 
diate environs, but no sign was given that the enemy 
contemplated extricating himself from his desperate 
situation by capitulation. No other course was left than 
to bombard the town with the heavy battery. In twenty 
minutes the town was burning in several places, which, 
with the numerous burning villages over the whole field 
produced a terrible impression. 

" I accordingly ordered the firing to cease, and sent 
Lieutenant-Colonel Von Bronsart, of the General Staff, 
with a flag of truce, to demand the capitulation of the 
army and the fortress. He was met by a Bavarian 
officer, who reported to me that a French jparlementaire 
had announced himself at the gate. Colonel Von Bronsart 
was admitted, and on his asking for the Commander-in- 
Chief, he was unexpectedly introduced into the presence 


of the Emperor, who wished to give him a letter for my- 
self. When the Emperor asked what his message was, 
and received the answer, " to demand the surrender of 
the army and fortress," he replied that on this subject he 
must apply to General de Wimpflfen, who had undertaken 
the command in place of the wounded General MacMahon, 
and that he would now send his Adjutant-General, Reille, 
with the letter to mvself. 

'' It was seven o'clock when Eeille and Bronsart came 
to me, the latter a little in advance, and it was first through 
him that I learned with certainty the presence of the 
Emperor. You may imagine the impression which this 
made upon all of us, but particularly upon myself. Reille 
sprang from his horse and gave me the letter of the 
Emperor, adding that he had no other orders. Before I 
opened the letter I said to him, ^ But I demand, as the 
first condition, that- the army lay down its arms.' The 
letter begins thus — ^ IP ay ant paspu mourh^ d la t^te de 
mes troupes, Je depose mon epee d votre Majesty, ' leaving 
all the rest to me. My answer was that I deplored the 
manner of our meeting, and begged that a plenipotentiary 
might be sent, with whom we might conclude the capitu- 
lation. After I had given the letter to General Reille, I 
spoke a few words with him as an old acquaintance, and 
so this act ended. I gave Moltke powers to negotiate, 
and directed Bismarck to remain behind in case political 
questions should arise. I then rode to my carriage and 
drove here, greeted everywhere along the road with loud 
hurrahs of the trains that were marching up and singing 
the National Hymn. It was deeply touching. Candles 
were lighted everywhere, so that we were driven through 
an improvised illumination. I arrived here at eleven 


o'clock, and drank with those about me to the prosperity 
of an army which liad accomplished such feats. 

"As on the morning of the 2d I received no news 
from Moltke respecting negotiations for the capitulation, 
which were to take place in Donchery, I drove to the bat- 
tle-field, ac<;ording to agreement, at eight o'clock, and 
met Moltke, who was coming to obtain my consent to the 
proposed capitulation. He told me at the same time that 
the Emperor had left Sedan at five o'clock in the morn- 
ing, and had come to Donchery, as he wished to speak with 
me. There was a chateau and park in the neighborhood, 
and I chose that place for our meeting. At ten o'clock I 
reached the height before Sedan. Moltke and Bismarck ap- 
peared at twelve o'clock with the capitulation duly signed. 
At one o'clock I started again with Fritz [the Crown Prince] 
and, escorted by the cavalry and staff, I alighted before 
the chateau, where the Emperor came to meet me. The 
visit lasted a quarter of an hour. We were both much 
moved at seeing each other again under such circum- 
stances. What my feelings were — I had seen Napoleon 
only three years before at the summit of his power — is 
more than I can describe. After this meeting, from half- 
past two to half-past seven o'clock, I rode past the whole 
army before Sedan. The reception given me by the 
troops, the meeting with the Guards, now decimated — 
all these are things which I can not describe to-day. I 
w^as much touched by so many proofs of love and devo- 
tion. Now farewell ! A heart deeply moved at the con- 
clusion of such a letter. Wilhelm." 

France suffered a terrible loss at Sedan. Eighty-four 
thousand men, one marshal, forty generals and 2,825 
officers fell into the hands of the Germans, together with 

UebcrfutlTun^ pon Kaifer IPilhelm's £eid;e nudr <£[iarIotteTitinTg. 



830 cannon, seventy mitraillieuses, 10,000 horses, and an 
immense amount of war material and ammunition. But 
while this loss was severe, and the immediate effect 
extremely humilating to France, it was no doubt proven a 
blessing in disguise. 

Imperial Bonapartism and French Chauvanism were 
buried at Sedan in a common grave. 

On the 31st of August, and also on the following day, 
General Bazaine at Metz made an unsuccessful attempt to 
break through the German lines. He was' driven back 
with great slaughter. 

On the 3d of September, Napoleon III., ex-Emperor 
of the French, wiis transported to Wilhelmshohe, in com- 
pany with Bismarck, a prisoner of war, and on the follow- 
ing day the Republic was proclaimed in France, with 
General Trochu, Jules Favre, Gambetta and Thiers as its 
provisional government. 

The disasters of the war, and the collapse at Sedan, 
were attributed by the populace of Paris to the ineffi- 
ciency of Napoleon, and to the general worthlessness of 
the military administration under the imperial regime. 
^^Tmtt n^est pas perdu^^ (all is not lost), they encourag- 
ingly said to each other, and proudly pointing to the 
patriotic sacrifices of their ancestors under the First 
Republic, resolved, and proclaimed to the world, they 
would not cede an inch of territory nor a stone of their 
fortresses to the hated invaders, but would fight them 
to the bitter end. 

Under these circumstances, the only way for King 
William to come to a definite settlement of the diffi- 
culties, was to march his troops right on to the French 
capital, to compel the new government to submit to his 

424 £lNa WILIJAM I. 

own terms of peace ; — a step which was at once taken, 
and on the 19th of September the investment of that im- 
mense and Avonderful city, Paris, began. 

When the facts are considered, that the h'ne of circum- 
vallation constructed by King Louis Philippe, at an 
expenditure of hundreds of millions of francs, and many 
years of industrious labor, and which is twenty-seven 
miles in extent, and also that a second line is formed by 
a large number of detached forts, sonae of considerable 
magnitude — at a distance of from one to four miles from 
the main wall — or, in all, a defensive line of at least fifty 
miles in extent, the seeming impossibility of investing 
and besieging such a city can be easily imagined. Paris, 
besides its population of nearly two million souls, con- 
tained 400,000 armed men. 

The German armies investing the city, strongly 
intrenched and garrisoned by nearly half a million troops, 
numbered about 215,000 men of all arms. The bulk of 
the German forces was occupied in besieging the great 
fortresses of Metz and Strasbourg, and in preventing nu- 
merous French detachments that were constantly forming 
from marching to the assistance of their besieged country- 
men. The proclamation of Gambetta for a war "« 
Voutrance^^ against the invaders had aroused the French 
people to a frenzied state of excitement, and in an incom • 
parably short time he had succeeded in raising a formidable 
army in Southern France. The first Bavarian troops of 
the German forces and other detachments were sent 
against them, and in the battles which followed, from the 
10th to the 17th of October, at Artenay, the French wero 
defeated, at which time Orleans fell into the hands of the 
Germans. In the meantime^ the Germans had achieved 




a glorious success in the East. Strasburg, the ancient 
German city, which, through the treachery of King Louis 
XIV. had been wrenched from Germany two hundred 
years before, was surrendered by General XJlrich on the 
27th of September. Seventeen thousand prisoners and a 
large amount of military stores fell into the hands of tlie 
Germans. General "Werder, to whom the garrison h;id 
capitulated, now marched against the fortress of Scblott- 
stadt, compelling its suiTender, clearing the wliule of 
Alsace of the enemy's forces, and leaving a besieging 
detachment before the fortress of Belfort, which covered 
the passes to the Rhine. From here he continued his 
march towards Besanjon and Dijon, in the Champagne 
district. But the powerful fortress of Metz still remained 
in the hands of the French. The investinsr armv under 
Prince Frederick Charles was beginning to be decimated 
by disease, through exposure and unwholesome quarters. 
On October 7th, Bazaine had made another attempt to 
break through the chain of iron which kept him and his 
army prisoners, but the effort ended disastrously. For 
reasons yet unknown, but probably the latent ambition to 
play the r61e of savior of the Empire, he refused to rec- 
ognize the French Republic, or any of its representatives, 
and entered on his own account into negotiations with 
Prince Frederick Charles. He offered to surrender the 
army, but not the fortress, addingthese conditions : " That 
the Empire be restored." This demand being peremp- 
torily refused, and his supplies being nearly exhausted, on 
the 27th of October he signed an unconditional surrender. 
One hundred and seventy-three thousand men, with three 
marshals and 0,000 officers, were made prisoners, and 
fifty-three eagles,102 mitrailleuse, 3,000 guns and immense 


quantities of military stores were the German trophies of 
that day. 

The surrender of Metz relieved the army of Frederick 
Charles, and enabled General Moltke to send two corps, 
under the command of General Manteuffel, into the north 
of France, and to direct Prince Frederick Charles to pro- 
ceed, with his remaining three corps, in forced marches to 
the Champagne and Burgundy provinces toward Troyes 
and Orleans, where the German General Von der Tann 
was in a precarious situation. 

On November 8th, the latter was attacked by a large 
force and was compelled to evacuate Orleans. It was only 
with the greatest exertions that he escaped being captured 
or annihilated by the overwhelming numbers of French 
troops, who in streams were flocking under the standard of 
General Aurellesde Paladine, in command of the army of 
the Loire. But Prince Frederick Charles, with his 60,000 
victorious troops from before Metz, appeared now on the 
the scene of action. After a number of minor but sanguin- 
ary engagements he advanced upon Orleans in force, and 
compelled the French to capitulate. During this time 
General Manteulfel, with his two corps from before Metz, 
had marched upon Amiens, which was held by 80,000 
French troops ; but not until after a bloody struggle was 
the place captured, on the 27th of November. The 
besiegers of Paris were now protected from serious inter- 
ference by an army under General Werder in the vicinity 
of Dijon on the east, by Prince Frederick Charles at 
Orleans on the south, and by General Manteuflfel at 
Amiens on the north. 

In the extremity of their condition, the French began 
to look for help beyond the frontiers. 


Their former arrogance had given place to humility. 
Like a resistless torrent the German anuics now rolled 
over French territory, driving the enemies steadily before 
their columns. On the 12th, the armv of the Crown 
Prince having cleared the passes through the Vosges moun- 
tains, and finding no further obstructions, was pushing on 
towards Chalons, when it came up and opened communica- 
tion with the army of Prince Frederick Charles. 

The day before. King William had moved his head- 
quarters upon French soil, and issued the following Droc- 
lamation to the French people : 

" We, William, King of Prussia, make known the fol- 
lowing to the inhabitants of the French territories occupied 
by the German armies. The Emperor Napoleon having 
made, by land and by sea, an attack on the German nation, 
which desired and still desires to live in peace with the 
French people, I have assumed the command of the Ger- 
man armies to repel this aggression, and I have been led 
by military circumstances to cross the frontiers of France. 
I am waging war against soldiers, not against French 
citizens. The latter, consequently, will continue to enjoy 
security for their persons and property as long as they 
themselves shall not, by hostile attempts against the Ger- 
man troops, deprive me of the right of according them my 
protection. By special arrangements, which will be duly 
made known to the public, the Generals commanding the 
different corps will determine the measures to be taken 
toward the communes or individuals that may place 
themselves in opposition to the usages of war. They will, 
in like manner, regulate all that concerns the requisitions 
which may be necessary for the wants of the troops, and 
they will fix the rate of exchange between French and 


German currencies, in order to facilitate the individual 
transactions between the troops and the inhabitants." 

M. Thiere, the accomplished diplomat of France, pre- 
tending to seek recognition from foreign Powei^s for the 
Republic, started upon a pilgrimage to the courts of Vienna, 
St. Petersburg and London. His most importunate en- 
treaties, however, in behalf of France, were met with 
polite but decided refusals. Upon his return the " extrem- 
ists " succeeded in becoming masters of the situation, which 
resulted' in the establishment of the Conmiune, and, as 
of old, during its short rule and final suppression another 
bloody page to the history of France was furnished. 

The defeat, however, of the French armies at Orleans 
seemed not to have damped the ardor of Premier 6am- 
betta in the least, but he realized that for the present the 
plan of attacking the besieging Germans in the rear must 
be abandoned. He was fertile in plans, however, and his 
next was the bold project of raising a new army in the 
southeast of France, and after crushing "Werder's forces 
at Dijon to send an invading army into the south of Ger- 
many. To this end he ordered General Bourbaki to 
march his Army of the Loire toward Lyons, to join the 
troops collecting there. Simultaneously with the execu- 
tion of this plan in the South, General Chanzy was also 
ordered to make a demonstration for the relief of Paris ; 
but he was met on the 7th by the forces under the Grand 
Duke of Mecklenburg at Marchenoir and Meung, and on 
the 10th was accordingly driven from his purpose of de- 
livering Paris from longer German investment. A few 
weeks later in a second attempt he crossed the path of 
Prince Frederick Charles, when he was defeated in a num- 
ber of hotly contested engagements near Le Mans, losing 


20,000 men, killed and taken prisoner. In the meantime 
the French army of the North, under General Faidherbe, 
had met a similar fate at the hands of the intrepid Gen- 
eral Goben, who had succeeded Mantueflfel in the com- 
mand of the Germans at Amiens and Kouen. On the 
19th of January Faidherbe's forces were attacked at St. 
Quintin, and completely routed with a loss of 10,000 

These encouraging reports from the interior of the 
enemy's country were very gratifying to King Will- 
iam, who had established his headquarters at Versailles ; 
but both himself and General Moltke were somewhat 
apprehensive in regard to General Bourbaki's movements. 
This General had left Bourges about the middle of Decem- 
ber, 1870, with the evident intention of overrunning Alsace. 
The only force to oppose him was Werder's Corps, which, 
on the 18th of December, had gained a victory over 
20,000 of Garibaldi's Italian Volunteers. Appreciat- 
ing the futility of contending in the open field against 
such overwhelming odds as Bourbaki would bring against 
him, Werder had retired slowly, but constantly fighting, 
to a strong position near Belfort. There he determined 
to make a stand in order to prevent the passage of Bour- 
baki's army, but to defeat his attempt to invade Germany 
at all hazards. On the 15th of January the enemy 
appeared in sight, and soon attempted a general assault 
upon Werder's position. But the Prussian needle-gun 
made such havoc in Bourbaki's ranks as to compel his 
withdrawal. On the 16th, and again on the 17th, the 
assault was renewed with the same disastrous result to the 
French. But the near approach of two German army corps, 
who, under General Manteuffel, had been sent to Werder's 


relief, completed Bourbaki's discomfiture, who, in attempt- 
ing to escape toward Lyon, was intercepted and almost 
surrounded on the road thither. The only alternative left 
to Bourbaki was to surrender his army to Manteuflfel, or 
to cross with his army over the frontier into Switzerland, 
('hoosing the latter, his 84,000 men marched over the line 
and were disarmed by the authorities of the little Repub- 
lic, on February 1, 1871. 

In the meantime matters about Paris had taken a 
favorable turn for the Germans. All the important and 
minor sorties which had been attempted by General 
Trochu had failed. On the 27th of December the bom- 
bardment of the city tVus begun, causing immense damages, 
and the calamities and terrors attending the siege of an 
overcrowded city were beginning to be felt in every house- 
hold of the capital. But although horse-flesh had become 
a rarity, and rats were now counted among the delicacies 
of the menuj the fortitude of the unhappy inhabitants of 
Paris remained unshaken, and it was not until the corrob- 
orated news of the defeat and dissolution of the armies in 
the field had convinced them of the absolute needlessness 
of further resistance, that the word " surrender " with 
safety dared to pass any man's lips. 

As a last extremity General Trochu and Gambetta 
decided to make one more, one supreme effort to break the 
cordon of the enemy's fire. On the 19th of January, under 
the protection of the guns of Mount Valerien, the most 
powerful fort in the line of fortifications. General Trochu 
drew up 100,000 men for the final desperate sortie. Fate 
was against him, however ; 20,000 Germans barred his 
passage, and drove him, after fearful carnage, back under 
the guns of Mount Valerien. This last attempt having 

Kronprinj jtiebrti^ ECilltelm anb <5cmat)Iin. 
^^i%tt Vaifcr ^iettrid; II[. nni bit Uatferin Dictorio.' 

Crown Prince Frederic WiUtam and Wife. 
Now Emperor Frederic III, and the Empress Victoria 


failed, the army was discouraged and the morale of the 
people broken. 

On the 23d of January, Jules Favre, in the name of 
the provisional government, proceeded to Versailles, and 
on the 28th an armistice of twenty-one days was signed ; 
on the 29lh, the now Emperor William I. telegraphed to 
Empress Augusta, at Berlin, as follows : 

"Last night an armistice for three weeks was signed. 
The troops of the line and the mobiles will be interned in 
Paris as prisoners of war. The Garde NaUonah Seden- 
tai/re undertakes the preservation of order. We occupy 
all the forts. Paris remains invested. It will be allowed 
to procure provisions as soon as the arms have been 
delivered up. A Constituent Assembly will be sum- 
moned to meet at Bordeaux in a fortnight. The armies in 
the field retain possession of the respective tracts of coun- 
try occupied by them, with neutral zones intervening. 
This is the first blessed reward of patriotism, heroism 
and heavy sacrifices. I thank God for this fresh mercy. 
May peace soon follow ! " 

The conditions of the proposed treaty of peace were 
almost exclusively discussed by Count Bismarck on the 
part of Germany, and by Jules Favre and Thiers on the 
part of France. Bismarck's demands were the cession of 
Alsace, the German speaking portion of Lothringia, and 
the payment of five billion francs to Germany. With 
bated breaths and beating hearts the two statesmen 
listened to the humiliating and severe conditions of the 
Iron Chancellor. But not all the protestations and suppli- 
cations — not even requests of representatives of foreign 
Powers — availed to modify these harsh conditions. 

In the meantime the final act of the unification of 


Germany had been performed at the city of Louis XIV. 
— the French King, who had done more to disrupt the 
Fatherland than any other foreign potentate before the 
advent of Napoleon I. 

On the 18th of January, 1871, in the celebrated Hall 
of the Mirrors of the Louis XIV. royal chateau at Ver- 
sailles, the elite of the German army still before Paris, 
assembled to witness King William's coronation as Em- 
peror of Gennany. A splendid galaxy of oflBcers of the 
diflferent armies and grades stood up in a semi-circle, 
awaiting the arrival of the King and his suite. 

Soon his majesty, followed by the Crown Prince Fred- 
erick William, the princes of the Empire and the generals 
of the army, all in full uniforms, entered the hall, the King 
taking his position upon the elevated center of the hall. 
After a somewhat lengthy and imposing religious cere- 
mony, Count Bismarck, upon a sign from the King,stepped 
to the front, and with loud sonorous voice read the follow- 
ing proclamation : 

" We, William, by the Grace of God, King of Prussia, 
herebv announce that the German Princes and Free Towns 
having addressed to us a unanimous call to renew and un- 
dertake, with the re-establishment of the German Empire, 
the dignity of Emperor, which now for sixty years has 
been in abeyance, and the requisite provisions having been 
inserted in the Constitution of the German Confederation, 
we regard it as a duty we owe to the entire Fatherland to 
comply with this call of the united German Princes and 
Free Towns, and to accept the dignity of Emperor. Accord- 
ingly, we and our successors to the Crown of Prussia 
henceforth shall use the Imperial title in all the relations 
and afifairs of the German Empire, and we hope to God 



that it may be vouchsafed to the German nation to lead 
the Fatherland on to a blessed future, under the auspices 
of its ancient splendor. We assume the Imperial dignity, 
conscious of the duty to protect with German loyalty the 
rights of the Empire and its members, to preserve peace, to 
maintain the independence of Germany, and to strengthen 
the power of the people. We accept it in the hope that 
it will be granted to the German people to enjoy in last- 
ing peace the reward of the arduous and heroic struggles 
within boundaries which will give to the Fatherland that 
security against renewed French attacks which it has 
lacked for centuries. May God grant to us and to our 
successors to the Imperial Crown, that we may be the 
defenders of the German Empire at all times ; not in 
martial conquests, but in works of peace in the sphere of 
national prosperity, freedom, and civilization." 

The treaty was ratified by the French Assembly at 
Bonleaux, which by resolution, also, formally deposed 
Napoleon III., declaring him the individual most respons- 
ible for all the nusfortunes, the ruin, the invasion, and the 
final dismemberment of France. 

It is one of the defects of human nature, to attribute 
the results of our own blindness and shortcomings to in- 
struments of one's own making. The cry " A Berlin ! a 
has les Pmsse!'''^ came from the press, politicians and the 
population of Paris, and not from Napoleon III.; he 
simply followed the cry because he could not help himself. 

On the 3d of March, when the victorious armies had 
taken up their return march to Germany, the terms of 
surrender having been arranged, the garrison of Paris and 
the forts surrendered to the Germans. To complete 
France's humiliation, 30,000 Germans entered the gates of 


the great city. Marching past the Aro de Triomphe, 
where, upon plates of brass, the French victories over the 
Germans at Austerlitz, Friedland, Jena, etc., are recorded, 
they proceeded along the Champa Elyseea as far as the 
Place de la Concorde^ playing the whole way the " Wachi 
am RhineP This performance was looked upon in sullen 
silence by the populace. Bismarck, sitting upon his 
charger, witnessed this scene of his final triumph for an 
instant, after which he hurriedly rode back to Versailles. 

Emperor William telegraphed from Versailles to 
Berlin : " I have just ratified the conclusion of peace, it 
having been accepted yesterday by the National Assembly 
in Bordeaux. Thus far is the great work complete, which 
by seven months' victorious battles has been achieved, 
thanks to the valor, devotion and endurance of our incom- 
parable army in all its parts and the willing sacrifices of 
the whole Fatherland. The Lord of Hosts has every 
where visibly blessed our enterprises, and therefore, by 
His mercy, has permitted this honorable peace to be 
achieved. To Him be the honor; to the army and the 
Fatherland I render thanks from a heart deeply moved. " 

On the 7th, the Emperor and his staff left Versailles, 
and on the 16th, at the head of his victorious armies, the 
triumphal entry into Berlin took place. 

The war had lasted 210 days. During this compara- 
tively short period three great French armies were taken 
prisoners, and another forced to take refuge in Switzer- 
land. Seventeen great battles, and 156 minor engage- 
ments Trere fought. Twenty-two fortresses were taken 
by the Germans, 7,200 pieces of artillery, 600,000 small 
arms, and 385,000 prisoners, including 11,360 officers. 


The final treaty of peace, including the conditions already 
stated, was concluded at Frankfort, on the 10th of May, 

Late at night on the 18th of August, Bismarck penned 
this telegram to Queen Augusta, at the dictation of the 
King : " The French army in a very strong position west- 
ward of Metz, attacked, completely beaten after a battle 
of nine hours, cut off from its communication with Paris, 
and hurled back on Metz." 

Dr. Busch gives the following graphic recital from 
Count Bismarck's own lips of his experiences on that 
awful day : " The whole day I had nothing to eat but 
the soldiers' bread and fat bacon. Now we found some 
eggs-five or six. The others must have theirs boiled ; 
but I like them uncooked, so I got a couple of them, and 
broke them on the pommel of my sword, and was much 
refreshed. When it got light, I took the first warm food 
I had tasted for six-and-thirty hours; it was only pea- 
sausage soup, which General Goeben gave me, but it tasted 
quite excellent. ... I had sent my horse to water, and 
stood in the dusk near a battery, which was firing. The 
French were silent, but when we thought their artillery 
was disabled, they were only concentrating their guns and 
mitrailleuses for a last great push. Suddenly they began 
quite a fearful fire, with shells and such like — an incessant 
cracking and rolling, whizzing and screaming in the air. 
We were separated from the King, who had been sent 
back by Roon. I stayed by the battery, and thought to 
myself, ' If we have to retreat put yourself on the first 
gun-carriage you can find.' We now expected that the 
French infantry would support the attack, when they 
might have taken me prisoner, unless the artillery carried 


me away with them. But the attack failed, and at last 
the horses returned, and I set off back to the King. We 
had gone out of the rain into the gutter, for where we 
had ridden to the shells were falling thick, whereas before 
they had passed over our heads. Next morning we saw 
the deep holes they had ploughed in the ground. 

" The King had to go back farther, as I had told him 
to do, after the officers had made representations to me. 
It was now night. The King said he was hungry, and 
what could he have to eat ? There was plenty to drink — 
wine and bad rum from a suttler — but not a morsel to 
eat but dry bread. At last, in the village, we got a few 
cutlets, just enough for the King, but not for anyone 
else, so I had to find out something for myself. His 
Majesty wanted to sleep in the carriage, among dead 
horses and badly-wounded men. He afterwards found 
accommodation in a little public-house. The Chancellor 
had to look out somewhere else. The heir of one of the 
greatest German potentates (the young Hereditary Grand 
Duke of Mecklenburg) kept watch by our common car- 
riage, that nothing should be stolen, and General Sheridan 
and I set off to find a sleeping place. We came to a house 
which was still burning, and that was too hot. I asked 
at another — 'Full of wounded soldiers.' In a third, also 
full of the wounded. In a fourth, just the same, but I 
was not to be denied this time. I looked up and saw a 
window which was dark. ' What have you got up there ? ' 
I asked. ' More wounded soldiers.' ^ That we shall see 
for ourselves.' I went up and found three empty beds, 
with good and apparently fairly clean straw mattresses. 
Here we took up our night quarters, and I slept capitally." 

Once more the Gemums showed their great superiority 
in all that concerns the strategical aspect of war. 


The people of Germany, and more especially of Prus- 
sia, had now become fully conscious that the solicitude 
with which Emperor William during his whole lifetime 
had been watching over the military establishments of the 
country, had at last borne its fruit. They now, also, 
recognized the fact, that they had erred in refusing to 
furnish him the means ho had called for for the reorgani- 
zation of the army, and felt thankful for his unswerving 
adherence to his patriotic convictions in spite of their 
opposition. The " geographical expression," of the Ger- 
many of pre-Napoleonic times had now become a reality, 
thanks to the foresight of Emperor WiUiam I., and the 
oversight of the Iron Chancellor, Bismarck. The Germans 
soon began to understand the power of nationality, and 
the peace which followed was fraught with great industrial 
and intellectual progress. 

On the 21st of March, 1871, the Parliament of United 
Germany opened its sessions. On this occasion Emperor 
William in his opening speech gave a hint to the Catholic 
representatives, who had begun to agitate the restoration 
of the Pope's temporal power, as follows : 

'*The new Empire," he said, "takes its birth from the 
self-subsisting spirit of the people itself, which, never tak- 
ing up arms except for defence, is steadfastly devoted to 
the works of peace. In its intercourse with foreign na- 
tions, Germany demands for her citizens no greater con- 
sideration than what justice and civilization involve, and 
uninfluenced by liking or disliking, leaves it to every na- 
tion to find its own way to unity, to every State to deter- 
mine for itself the form of its constitution. We trust 
that the days of interference in the life of other nations 
will never, under any pretext or in any form, return," 


On the 14th of April, 1871, the Eeichstag ratified the 
constitution of the German Empire, and, on the 4th of 
May following, the constitution went into force. 

[The question is often heard, " What is the difference 
between the Landtag,Bundesrath and Imperial Diet, etc.?" 
and, in order that the general reader may understand the 
construction and functions of the legislative bodies called 
the Reichstag and Herrenhaus, etc., in Germany, the 
author will attempt an explanation by first saying that 
the constitution of Germany is not analagous to that of 
the United States. The Imperial Diet is the Eeichstag, 
and constitutes the legislative branch of the German Em- 
pire, and may be compared to our National House of 
Representatives. It has the power to originate and, 
with the consent of the Bundesrath, to enact national 
laws. The members are elected for three years, in the 
ratio of one representative for everj^ 10,000 inhabitants ; 
but a State having. less than 100,000 inhabitants is en- 
titled to but one representative. The members receive 
no compensation. They are elected by the voters of each 
State at large. Everv German twenty-five years old, of 
active citizenship, has a right to vote in the State in which 
he was bom. The Bundesrath is the highest executive 
and administrative power in the Empire. Its principal 
features were created by the Norddeustche Bund of 1867, 
and incorporated into the constitution of 1871. It has 
peculiarities which do not permit of its being likened to 
our Senate or the upper house of any assembly; nor is 
it a purely executive body. It resembles a council of 
States, and is now composed of fifty-nine members, the 
delegates of the several States, which, under the supremacy 
of Prussia, compose the German Empire. Prussia sends 


seventeen delegates, Bavaria six, WUi-temberg four, Sax- 
ony four, Saxe- Weimar and Brunswick two each, the other 
States but one each. The Bundesrath has power to de- 
cide upon the legislative measures to be proposed to the 
Reichstag ; on the rules and regulations to be adopted in 
the administrative and executive branches of the Empire ; 
in other respects it has some of the powers of the execu- 
tive. The members of the Bundesrath have the privileges 
of the floor in the proceedings of the Imperial Diet, and 
on pending questions to take part in the debates. In 
case the delegates of a certain State are unable to carry a 
measure in the Bundesrath, they may submit the question 
to the Imperial Diet or Reichstag. The Bundesrath and 
Reichstag, therefore, form the Imperial Government of 
Germany. The postal service, the army and navy are 
under their administration. The executive branch, the 
third branch of the Imperial Government, is represented 
by the executive officer, the Emj)eror, who has the right 
to appoint a Chancellor of the Empire, whose duty, among 
others, is to receive foreign ambassadors and officials, and 
with the consent of the Emperor to appoint representa- 
tives of the German Empire — Bavaria excepted — to 
other foreign countries. The Emperor can only declare 
war for the German Empire in case German territory is 
invaded by foreign foes. With the affairs of a single 
State the German government has nothing to do. The 
states are autonomous, each having its own sovereign and 
constitution. As, for instance, Prussia is governed by her 
king, Frederick III., who was also chosen in 1888 by the 
German sovereigns. Emperor of Germany. Prussia has 
her Parliament, consisting of a Chamber of Deputies and 
House of Lords (Herrenhaus), together called the Landtag. 



444 KiNO WiLLtAH 1. 

The members of the two Chambers are the representatives 
of the whole State of Prussia, not of a district. They are 
not expected to vote for a constituency nor to give a 
reason for their votes. No member can be prosecuted 
during the time the Chamber is in session. Each Cham- 
ber draws up its own rules by which it is governed. The 
Herrenhaus is composed of the princes of the blood who 
have reached their majority, hereditary members and 
members appointed for life. The number is not limited ; 
the members must have reached the age of thirty years, 
and can receive no salary nor indemnity of any sort. The 
Chamber of Deputies consists of 432 members, elected for 
three years. The governments of Bavaria, Wlirtemberg 
and the other German States, have their separate Land- 
tags, formed of two houses, the same as Prussia.] 

The majority of the German Parliament, hand in 
hand with the Emperor, now entered heartily into the 
work of regeneration. 

The next great question in order was the act of incor- 
poration of Alsace and Lorraine into the Empire. Prince 
Bismarck knew that his measure would meet with opposi- 
tion in Parliament, and from the following speech which 
he delivered on the 8d of May, his expectations on this 
subject are set forth : 

" Ten months ago no one m Germany desired war, but 
all were determined, if it should be forced upon us, to 
carry it through, and to obtain guarantees against a recur- 
rence of attacks by France. France, possessing Alsace, 
continually threatened Germany. On the 6th of August, 
1866, the French ambassador handed me an ultimatum 
demanding the cession of Mayence to France, and telling 
us, in the alternative, to expect an immediate declaration 


of war. It was only the illness of the Emperor Napol- 
eon which then prevented its outbreak. During the late 
war neutral Powers made mediatory proposals. In the 
firet instance we were asked to content ourselves with the 
costs of the war and the razing of a fortress. This did 
not satisfy us. It was necessary that the bulwark from 
which France could sally forth for attack should be pushed 
farther back. Another proposal was to neutralize 
Alsace and Lorraine. But that neutral State would have 
possessed neither the power nor the will to preserve its 
neutrality in case of war. We were obliged to incorpo- 
rate Alsace with the territory of Germany in order to 
insure the peace of Europe. It is true the averaion of 
the population of Alsace and Lorraine is an obstacle to 
such a measure. Still, the population is thoroughly Ger- 
man, forming a sort of aristocracy in France by virtue of 
its noble and Teutonic qualities. We shall strive to win 
back to us this population, by means of Teutonic patience 
and love. We shall especiallj' grant communal liberties. 
The Federal Council will carefully examine all amend- 
ments proposed by the Reichstag. Let us work together 
with mutual confidence." 

The act of incorporation provided that ".he govern- 
ment of Alsace and Lorraine be vested exclusively in the 
Emperor until January 1, 1874, when the constitution 
of the German Empire was to be introduced and the 
provinces form an integral part of the German realm. 
The act was passed with the almost unanimous vote of 
the assembly. 

Prince Bismarck, the new Chancellor of the Empire, 
was thereupon appointed by the Emperor governor of 
the annexed provinces. Thus was the act of restitution 


completed bj^ which Germany was repossessed of a portion 
of her territory which had been forcibly taken from her 
nearly two hundred years before by Louis XIY. There is 
great waste of sentiment in the united states over this 
I'iglitful restitution performed by Emperor William I., on 
tlie ground that it was accomplished without leave oi 
consent of the re-annexed provinces. One might as well 
complain about the injustice of returning a child to its 
rightful mother from whom it was stolen while a helpless 
babe. The original title of the provinces was with Ger- 
many, and both justice and the law of self-preservation 
demanded their restitution to the mother country. 



A Lit difficulties in the path of Germany's unification 
jLJL and peaceful progress had now been apparently over- 
come. Victories had been obtained through iron and 
blood for the repossession and retention of territory ; but 
during the debates ui)on the King's address and the annex- 
ation act, evidences were not wanting to show that some 
secret force, and, as afterward appeared, the same force 
which had been in operation in Germany for centuries, 
was again at work, but under a new guise. 

As we have repeatedly shown, the supremacy of Prot- 
estant Prussia in Germany was exceedingly distasteful to 
the Roman hierarchy. The fact that the Roman Catholic 
Church was recognized in Prussia as a legal institution, 
that it stood in every respect upon an equal footing with 
the Protestant Church, that its schools and universities 
were supported by the State the same as those of the Prot- 
estants, and that religious instruction was given to Catholic 
children by Catholic priests paid out of the general fund, 
did not seem to count a penny's weight against the demands 
of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. These demands were noth- 
ing short of the absolute control of the educational insti- 
tutions of the country. But Prince Bismarck, supported 
by the King, stood like a rock against these assumptions ; 
and, being aware of the ultramontane efforts in the differ- 
ent parts of Germany in furtherance of this pet scheme, 
of the efforts of the Jesuits to stir up dissatisfaction against 
the imperial government and opposition to the proposed 



unification of the whole of Gennany, and, also, that the 
pulpit was prostituted for political agitation, at the meet- 
ing of the National Diet in 1872 he was not able to repress 
his indignation when Dr. Windhorst, the spokesman of 
the Ultramontane party, complained of the loss of Catholic 
power and influence m matters of educational moment. 

Springing to his feet, in a ringing speech he adminis- 
tered the following well-directed rebuke: 

" When I returned from France to devote myself to 
home affairs," said he, 'Hhe Clerical or Centre party, which 
had just been formed, seemed to me a party whose policy 
was directed against the predominance and unity of the 
State. I will not conceal from vou that the Government 
had hoped to rely upon the assistance of the orthodox 
element in the people. I thought it had a right to expect 
that they, above all, would render unto Caesar the things 
that are Caesar's. Instead of this we find ourselves svstem- 
atically withstood in the South, and most violently at- 
tacked in the papers and in speeches destined for the in- 
struction of the lower classes. This conduct is the more 
extraordinary inasmuch as the Pope and the Prussian 
bishops of the Catholic Church have repeatedly acknowl- 
edged the perfect liberty their co-religionists enjoy under 
our institutions. In their downright hostility, therefore, 
the Ultramontane party can not be actuated by dissatis- 
faction at the position the Catholic Church holds, and in- 
deed has long held among us. Unfortunately, we are at 
no loss to account for their motives. When we find this 
party leaguing with Radicals of every shade of persuasion 
— when we find them acting in concert with men whose 
extreme politics make them avowed enemies of the Prus- 
sian Constitutional Monarchy and of the German Imperial 


Commonwealth — we need not wonder at their drif tmg 
into peraistent op|X)sition, and placing us in the painful 
position in which we now stand with regard to them." 

This speech had the effect of an immediate declai*ation 
of war against clerical assumption in Germany, and was 
followed by the introciuction of a School Inspection bill, by 
which the supervision of all educational institutions were 
intrusted to the State. After a long and acrimonious 
debate, in which Windhorst and Bismarck were the prin- 
cipal champions, the bill passed with the small majority 
of 197 against 171 votes. 

In the Upper House, the debates upon this bill elicit- 
ed very damaging facts against Windhorst and the 
clerical party. Among the many compromising documents 
read by Bismarck, the following dispatch from an Im- 
perial representative abroad created the greatest indig- 
nation : 

" The revenge," it said, " for which people are panting in 
France is being prepared for by getting up religious trou- 
bles in Germany. It is intended to cripple German unity 
by denominational discord, for which pui*pose the whole 
of the clergy are to be utilized under immediate orders 
from Eome. In connection with the overthrow of Ger- 
man power, the Pope hopes to be able to reestablish his 
secular power in Italy." 

Eeferring to this dispatch, Prince Bismarck said: "Need 
I point out who our enemies are? While two Catholic 
Powers existed on our borders, each supposed to be strong- 
er than Prussia, and more or less at the disposal of the 
Catholic Church, we were allowed to live in peace and quiet. 
Things changed after our victory of 1866, and the conse- 
quent ascendancy of the Protestant dynasty of Hohenzol- 

450 EMPEBOB William's eoolesiastical wab. 

lern. And now that another Catholic Power has gone the 
same way, and we have acquired a might, which, with 
God's help, we mean to keep, our opponents are more 
embittered than ever, and make ns the butt of their con- 
stant attacks." 

This plain language of the German Chancellor exas- 
perated Windhorst and the Catholic Party beyond meas- 
ure. The conflict had, however, but just begun, and the 
expose of this ecclesiastical duplicity formed one of the 
principal grounds of justification for most of the anti- 
clerical laws that were in course of preparation. 

Another event occurred, just at this time, which aggra- 
vated the situation, and widened the breach between Ger- 
many and the Vatican. 

It was the latter's rejection of Cardinal Hohenlohe, who 
had been appointed by the Emperor as ambassador to Rome, 
upon the pretense that the Cardinal was an opponent of 
the Pope's infallibility dogma. This inimical action of the 
Vatican was resented by Prince Bismarck, in a speech 
before the Reichstag, May 14, in which he severely criti- 
cised this extraordinary proceeding of the Pope, taking the 
ground that he should always reject any treaty with Rome, 
in which the Papacy might claim that certain state laws 
should not be binding upon a portion of the subjects of the 
Empire. The most animated discussion, however, in 
reference to this Ultramontane controversy, took place in 
the Reichstag upon the introduction of the bill for the 
expulsion of the Jesuits from Germany. The bill was 
passed, however, and after having been signed by the 
Emperor, it was promulgated on July 4, 1872. It read as 

" We, William, by the grace of God, Emperor of Ger- 

EMPEKOR William's ecclesiastical war. 461 

many, King of Prussia, etc., in the name of the German 
Empire, with the assent of the Federal Council, and of the 
Parliament, ordain as follows : I. The Order of the Society 
of Jesus, as well as the monastic orders of Congregations 
affiliated to the said Society, are excluded from the terri- 
tory of the German Empire. The creation of establish- 
ments by them is forbidden. Establishments of theirs at 
present existing shall be suppressed within a period to be 
settled by the Federal Council, but not later than six 
months. II. The members of the Order of the Society of 
Jesus or of Orders and Congregations aflBliated, may, if 
aliens, be expelled from the territory of the Confederation. 
If they are natives, their^residence in certain districts, or 
certain places, may be forbidden or prescribed to them. 
III. The Federal Council will take the measures necessary 
for securing the execution of this law. In faith of which 
we have set our hand and seal Imperial." 

The justice of this act was not questioned by aiTy but 
the most extreme Ultramontanes. When, however, it is 
considered that under the influence and perseverance of 
the Society of Jesus, the number of convents in Prus- 
sia had increased from 69 in 1855 to 826 in 1869, with 
8,319 inmates — Pius IX., himself being compelled thirty 
years before to expel the Jesuits from Rome — the Pope's 
displeasure at this act of the Emperor lacked every ele- 
ment of consistency. His denunciatory epistles of the 
measure, sent to the priests throughout Germany created 
a spirit of antagonism against the constituted authorities, 
bordering upon insubordination. This ecclesiastical re- 
volt against the liberalizing tendencies of the Imperial 
Government took the form of organization in the consol- 
idation of all Catholic societies into the ^^ Catholic Union 

452 EMPEROR William's eoglesiastigal war. 

at Fulda," in the following September — the place of the 
monastery and school founded by Winfried in 750 a. 
D. There it was boldly declared that canon laws were 
more binding upon the citizens than those enacted by 
legislative assemblies, and that the Church was rightfully 
supreme in educational affairs and in marriage contracts. 
W hile the clerical party — which, oddly enough, was sup- 
ported by the socialists— was thus engaged in attempting 
to rejuvenate the theories of the dark ages, the reputed 
" despotic " government of King William of Prussia sub- 
mitted a bill to the Prussian House, conferring upon the 
people of towns and villages the blessings of local self- 
government. The adoption of this measure at a time of 
great reactionary activity, and in spite of the nobility and 
landed aristocracy, formed an epoch in the life of the 
German people and one of the brightest pages in the 
history of these two remarkable men, Emperor William I. 
and Premier Bismarck. The Kultur-Kampf (Ecclesiastical 
War) had now assmned serious proportions in Germany. 
It was the old question of the Franconian and Hohen- 
staufen right of rule in their own domain. It appeared 
that the question, whether Emperor William or Pius IX. 
was henceforth to rule Germany, could not long remain 
unanswered. Accordingly, in January, 1873, Dr. Falk, 
the minister of education, introduced into the German 
Diet four very important bills, the main features of 
which were, "freedom of religion," " State protection to 
the dergy against arbitrary acts of their superiors, and 
the requirement, that henceforth, all candidates for the 
priesthood must attend a State — ^that is, lay-university." 
These acts produced the greatest consternation in the 
ranks of the clerical party. The Catholic bishops entered 

EMPEROR William's, ecclesiastical war. 453 

a solemn protest against their enforcement, and resolved 
upon their resistance, whereupon the State instituted 
criminal proceedings against a number of the most recal- 
citrant bishops. These trials resulted in the conviction 
of Archbishop Ledochowski, and the imposing of a sen- 
tence of four months' imprisonment upon his Grace. Thus 
far, the conflict between Church and State had been 
waged between the representatives of the Vatican and the 
Imperial Government. But now Pope and Emperor 
appeared upon the scene of action. 

On the 7th of August, 1873, his Holiness Avrote to the 
Emperor that, having heard the harsh measures adopted 
by the German government against the Catholic clergy 
had not yet been approved by him, he desired to warn 
him of the danger threatening the Empire in case they 
should be carried into execution. " I speak with frank- 
ness," said Pius IX., " for my banner is truth. I speak in 
order to fulfill one of my duties, which consists in telling 
the truth to all, even to those who are not Catholics; for 
everyone who has been baptized belongs, in some way or 
other — which to define would be here out of place — be- 
longs, I say, to the Pope." 

On the 3d of September, nearly one month after the 
receipt of the above, Emperor William transmitted to the 
Pope the following reply : 

" I am glad your Holiness has, as in former times, done 
me the honor to write to me. I rejoice the more at this 
since an opportunity is thereby afforded me of correcting 
errors which, as appears from the contents of your letter, 
must have occurred in the communications you have 
received relative to German affairs. 

" To my deep sorrow, a portion of my Catholic sub- 

454 EMPEROR William's ecclesiastical war. 

jects have organized, for the past two years, a political 
party which is endeavoring to disturb, by intrigues hostile 
to the State, the religious peace which hasexisted in Prus- 
sia for centuries. Leading Catholic priests have unfortu- 
nately not only approved this movement, but joined in it 
to the extent of open revolt against existing laws 

" It will not have escaped the observation of your 
Holiness that similar indications manifest themselves at 
the present time in several European and some Trans- 
Atlantic States. It is not my mission to investigate the 
causes by which tlie clergy and the faithful of one of the 
Christian denominations can be induced actively to assist 
the enemies of all law; but it certainly is my mission to 
protect internal peace, and preserve the authority of the 
laws in the States whose government has been intrusted 
to me by God. I shall maintain order and law in my 
States against all attacks as long as God gives me the 
power; I am in duty bound to do it as a Christian mon- 
arch, even when to my sorrow I have to fulfill this royal 
duty against servants of a church which I suppose ac- 
knowledges no less than the Evangelical Church, that the 
commandment of obedience to secular authority is an 
emanation of the revealed will of God. Many of the 
priests in Prussia subject to your Holiness disown, to my 
regret, the Christian doctrine in this respect, and place 
my government under the necessity, supported by the 
great majority of my loyal Catholic and Evangelical 
subjects, of extorting obedience to the law by worldly 

"I willingly entertain the hope that your Holiness, 
upon being informed of the true position of affairs, will 
use your authority to put an end to the agitation carried 

£MP£ROR William's ecclesla-stical war. 455 

on amid deplorable distortion of the truth and abuse of 
priestly authority. The religion of Jesus Christ has, as I 
attest to your Holiness before God, nothing to do with 
these intrigues, any more than has truth, to whose ban- 
ner, invoked by your Holiness, I unreservedly subscribe. 
There is one more expression in the letter of your Holi- 
ness which I can not pass over without contradiction, 
although it is not based upon the previous information, 
but upon the belief of your Holiness — namely ^ the expres- 
sion that every one who has received baptism belongs to 
the Pope. The Evangelical creed, which, as must be 
known to your Holiness, I, like my ancestors and the ma- 
jority of my subjects, profess, does not permit us to ac- 
cept in our relations to God any other mediator than our 
Lord Jesus Christ. This difference of belief does not 
prevent me from living in peace with those who do not 
share mine, and I offer your Holiness the expression of my 
personal devotion and esteem." 

The publication of this letter was received with demon- 
strations of approval by a majority of the people of Ger- 

On the 7th of December the Emperor, as King of 
Prussia, issued a decree, making it obligatory upon the 
bishops to take the oath of allegiance to the King before 
assuming their functions. This unfortunate conflict be- 
tween State and Church continued to prevail with greater 
or less severity until 1882, when, from some cause not yet 
explained, Bismarck appeared to wish to be upon more 
amicable terms with Rome, and when Herr Windhorst 
brought in a bill for the repeal of the law prohibiting the 
exercise of clerical functions without the sanction of the 
State, Bismarck did not oppose the motion, and it was 

456 EMPEROR William's ecclesiastical war. 

concurred in. Another bill, in substance aJlovving foreign 
priests to officiate in Grermany, was also favorably acted 
upon, and further, in order to naiTOw the chasm between 
Germany and the Holy See, 90,000 marks, about $20,000, 
were appropriated to defray the expense of a Prussian 
Catholic representative to the Vatican. 

Later on, the anti-clerical enactments, knoAvn as the 
May laws, were almost wholly repealed, and this circum- 
stance is often quoted by the adversaries of the Chan- 
cellor in support of the charge that he had made a " trip to 
Canossa." This charge however, when calmly and im- 
partially investigated, is found to be without foundation 
in fact. 

The object of Prince Bismarck in not having his State 
policy in reference to the annexation of Alsace and Lorraine 
and other political measures any longer interfered with 
by ecclesiastical intrigues had been accomplished. The 
Pope himself having mildly rebuked Mr. Windhorst for 
his over-officious zeal in mattere not strictly ecclesiastical, 
the provisions of the May laws had become superfluous. 
The principal point, however, that is, the control over the 
appointment of candidates to clerical positions in Prussia, 
has never been relinquished by Prince Bismarck. 

That the relations of Prince Bismarck and the present 
Pope are of the most amicable nature, the fact that the 
settlement of the Caroline Islands difficulty in 1886 was 
placed in his Holiness' hands by Bismarck, is ample evi- 
dence. Upon the peaceable conclusion of the m^^tter, the 
Pontiff sent the Prince the decoration of the "Order of 
Christ." Upon the receipt of the diamond cross, Bis- 
marck replied : "As your Holiness has expressed it, the 
Eomish pontificate could not be better fitted than for just 


80CIAU8TIC WAB. 457 

such mediatory services in the peaceful settlement of diffi- 
culties between nations as that just performed between 
Germany and Spain, and for this very reason I had called 
upon your Holiness for interposition. Tiie fact that the 
attitude of the two countries toward your Holiness in mat- 
ters of religion was not the same never weakened my 
confidence in your impartiality. The relations between 
Germany and Spain are such that the existing feeling of 
friendliness could not lastingly be disturbed, and I was, 
therefore, most confident that the work of your Holiness 
would secure permanent friendly relations between us." 

In conclusion, BismarcTc assures the Pope that he would 
embrace every opportunity to show the gratitude his kind 
offices have earned for him when not inconsistent with 
his duty to his master and country. 


The next question that appeared to agitate the Impe- 
rial parliament was the repressive measures required 
against the Socialists. This question greatly embittered 
the declining yeai's of Emperor William's life. The sit- 
uation was fraught with many perplexities; although 
painfully conscious of the many hardships to which the 
laboring classes were subjected, peace and good order 
compelled him to sanction with his signature, the anti-so- 
cialistic laws adopted by the German Diet. But the sen 
timents of his heart were expressed when, in a rescript to 
the Eeichstag, he said: "I deem it one of the first duties 
of the Emperor to turn his attention and direct his care 
to the improvement of the condition of the laboring 
classes," and later on insisted, " that legislation upon this 
question should not be limited to police and penal meas- 


ures, but should be directed to the removal of the causes 
of oppression in the realm." 

The socialistic propaganda, headed by Karl Marx 
and Ferdinand La Salle, had developed into a political 
power before the establishment of the Empire, and the 
liumanitarian intentions of the Emperor had little effect 
upon the progress of the anarchist wing of the party. So 
zealous had they become, that an attempt was made upon 
the Emperor's life on the 28th day of September, 1883, at 
the unveiling of the Niederwald Monument. The culprit, 
Reinsdorf, had employed a man to place a stone bottle 
containing dynamite, upon the road upon which the 
Emperor was to pass. The man employed did not light 
the match, and therefore the Emperor's life was saved. 

This atrocious act naturally hastened the reenactment 
of former repealed anti-social laws, and the adoption of 
others more severe, and prolonged for two years those 
that were to terminate the following September. On the 
18th of May, the famous "Explosive" bill was passed, 
which made the ordering of explosives with the willful 
intent of endangering life and property, as well as the 
delivering of inflammatory speeches, and the publishing of 
incendiary pamphlets, crimes punishable with imprison- 
ment, and if followed with fatal results, punishable with 

These laws seemed only to increase the believers, and 
socialism had made such headway in Germany in 1884 
that many of the representatives of the Government were 
found to be connected with either one or the other of the 
various socialistic organizations; as for instance, Bebel, 
Von VoUraar, Auer, Frohme, Dietz, Viereck, Ulrich, and 
others — ^the first five being members of the German 


Reichstag, the other two journalists were indicted upon 
the charge of having taken part in the socialistic con- 
gress held in Copenhagen from March 29 to April 2, 
1883, and, also, at the Chateau Wayden, Switzerland, in 
August, 1880. The proofs against them were the minutes 
of the meetings, in the hands of the prosecuting attorney, 
and numerous articles published in the Social Deniokrat 
of Switzerland. The indictment went on to say that 
there existed in Germany a social-democratic organization, 
the members of which were punishable under the criminal 
code; that the resolutions passed at the two congresses 
favoring a firmer organization, the collection of a fund 
for agitation and publication, and, also, for the support of 
the victims of the law against socialism, were all offenses 
indictable under this provision of the code; that the 
Social Dmwkrai recommended secrecy, and that the 
language ^^the infamous law against socialists in Germany 
compels us to hold our meetings upon foreign soil, and 
because the detectives are wide-awake we recommend to 
you extreme caution,'' is against the laws; that there were 
sixty delegates present, most of whom were registered 
under false names at the hotels ; that their participation 
in this unlawful movement is established, as well as their 
intention to consolidate the organization and to promote 
the principles of socialism in Germany, all of which is 
contrary to the paragraphs of the criminal code referred 

Thus, were laws enacted and executed against the 
right of the citizen to assemble and the most obnoxious 
press-laws — which laws have retarded the intellectual and 
political progress of Germany for a century — the fruits 
of the insane ravings of a handful of crack-brained 

460 flociALisno wab. 

theorists in this endeavor to annihilate individual 
genius, thrift and enterprise, and to merge the country 
into the communistic despotism, called " The State." 

One of the most extraordinary acts of the Prussian 
Government under William as King of Prussia, was the 
expulsion of 35,000 Poles from Prussian soil — many of 
them landed proprietors and thrifty artisans, ruthlessly 
driven from their homes. The subject having been 
brought before the German Parliament, Prince Bismarck 
took tlie ground that Prussia's local legislation was not 
subject to confederate control. The only explanation the 
Government deigned to give was that these expulsions 
were the simple execution of Prussian police regulations. 
During this same session the Ultramontanes, supported 
by the Socialists, introduced a Sunday law. In opposi- 
tion, Prince Bismarck delivered one of his characteristic 
speeches. He emphatically denied the proposition that 
workmen would be benefited by such a law, or that 
the industrial prosperity of England and the United 
States was due to the English Sabbath. " England," said 
he, " would not to-day enjoy so great an industrial superi- 
ority over Germany if her coal fields and her iron mines 
were not in close proximity to each other, and if she had 
not enjoyed the blessings of civilization long before Ger- 
many did. Even in the time of Shakespeare, about 300 
years ago, there 'was a degree of prosperity, culture and 
literary development in England far above what we pos- 
sessed at that time in Germany. The Thirty Tears' 
War had a retrograde effect upon Germany more than on 
any other nation. But I can not admit that Englishmen 
are better Christians than the Germans. If the keeping 
of the Sunday had not been from time immemorial an 


English custom, I doubt very much if any Government 
or Parliament would now be strong enough to make it 
compulsory. For my own part, however, the English 
Sunday has always produced an unpleasant impression 
upon me; I was glad when it was over, and, judgino; 
by the way the Sunday was passed in England, I think 
that Englishmen were so, too. Here, in our villages, we 
are glad to see the people enjoying themselves in their 
Sunday best, and we thank God that we are not undei 
the compulsion of the English Sunday. Some forty 
years ago I went to England for the first time, and I was 
so glad to land, after a bad passage, that I whistled 
a tune. * Please don't do that,' said a fellow passenger. 
* Why not? ' I inquired. ' Because it is Sunday ! ' " 

These bold expressions of Bismarck were the senti- 
ments of the majority of Germans — for Germans the 
world over are opposed to Sunday restrictions — and 
therefore, very naturally, the bill was defeated. 



IT IS not an easy task to impartially judge the pergonal 
character of a man bom to occupy an exalted sphere of 
action, and whose tender years were hedged about by the 
conventional conditions of a prospective king ; a man, in 
other words, of whom little is known that is not intjended 
to be known. But the late Emperor William seems to 
have been a striking exception to the rule. Born with an 
original and sturdy nature, his artificial training appears 
not to have destroyed, but rather strengthened, these char- 

The school of adversity in which his early years were 
spent— the loss of his sainted mother, coupled with the 
ever-present fear of loss of ancestral domain — gave to his 
mind a peculiarly devotional cast, which is clearly seen in 
his after letters, and is emphasized in the following pre- 
served paper, written at the age of eighteen, and entitled 
his '' Precepts of Life " : 

" With a thankful heart I acknowledge God's great 
beneficence in permitting that I should be born in an 
exalted station, because thereby I am better enabled to 
educate my soul and heart, and am put in possession of 
copious means wherewith to build up worthiness in myself. 
I rejoice in this station — not on account of the distinction 
it confers upon me amongst men, nor on account of the 
enjoyments it places at my disposal, but because it ena- 
bles me to achieve more than others. In humility I 
rejoice in my station, an^ am far from believing that God 

4 4ed 


has intended, in this respect, to put me at an advantage 
over my fellow-men. I am equally far from considering 
myself better than anybody else on account of my exalted 
station. My princely rank shall always serve to remind 
me of the greater obligations it imposes upon me, of the 
greater efforts it requires me to make, and of the greater 
temptations to which it exposes me. 

" I will never forget that a prince is a man — before 
God, only a man — having his origin, as weU as* all the 
weaknesses and wants of human nature, in common with 
the humblest of the people; that the laws prescribed for 
general observance are also binding upon him ; and that 
he, like all the rest, will one day be judged for his behav- 
ior. For all good things that may fall to my share I wiU 
look up gratefully to God; and in all misfortunes that 
may befall me I will submit myself to God, in the firm 
conviction that He will always do what is best for me. 
I know what, as man and prince alike, my duty is to true 
honor. I will never seek honor to myself in things illu- 
sory. My capacities belong to the world and to my fath- 
erland. I will therefore work unintermittently within 
the circle of activity prescribed to me, make the best use 
of my time, and do as much good as it may be in my 
power to do. 

^^ I will maintain and keep alive within me a sincere and 
hearty good will toward all men, even, the most insignifi- 
cant — for they are all my brethren. I will not domineer 
over anybody in virtue of my princely dignitv, nor bring to 
bear upon any one the pressure of my princely prestige. 
When compelled to require any service at the hands of 
others, I will do so in a courteous and friendly manner, 
endeavoring, as far as in me lies, to render the fulfillment 


of their duties easy to them. But, in accordance wHh my 
own duty, I will do all I can to destroy the works of hy- 
pocrisy and malignity, to bring to scorn whatever is wicked 
and shameful, and to visit crime with its due measure of 
punishment ; no feelings of compassion shall hinder me 
therefrom. I will, however, be careful not to condemn 
the guiltless ; on the contrary, for me it shall ever be 
a labor of love to defend the innocent. 

" To the utmost of my ability I will be a helper and 
advocate of those unfortunates who may seek my aid, or 
of whose mishaps I may be informed — especially of wid- 
ows, orphans, aged people, men who have faithfully served 
the State, and those whom such men may have left behind 
them in poverty. Never will I forget the good that has 
been done to me by my fellow-men. Throughout my 
whole life I will continue to value those who have ren- 
dered me service. 

" For the King, my father, I entertain a respectful and 
tender affection. To live in such sort that I may be a joy 
to him will be my utmost endeavor. I yield the most 
punctilious obedience to his commands. And I entirely 
submit myself to the laws and constitution of the State. 
I will perform my service — duties — ^with absolute exacti- 
tude, and whilst assiduously keeping my subordinates to 
their duty, will treat them amicably and kindly." 

The heroic period of his youth, also, offered a superior 
school for the growth of his manly qualities, a school 
which has been opened to few men since the days of Char- 
lemagne and Barbarossa. The death straggle of the 
nations of Europe, to maintain their integrity and inde- 
pendence against the overreaching ambition of a military 
genius of which the world has produced no equal, the 


waves upon waves of armed men rolling over half a con- 
tinent and by the tide of events rolled back again, the 
roar of the modern machinery of destruction, the gigantic 
minds met in deadly combat to retain all that a man holds 
dear in life, principles, home and country — these were 
the events which daily engrossed his attention. 

The earnest activity and sterling qualities of such men 
as Stein, Scharnhorst and Blticher, who had been charged 
with the preservation of the State, could but leave a last- 
ing impress upon his young and plastic mind. He came 
early to understand that a life of leisure and luxury had 
its demoralizing and enervating effect upon both body and 
mind, and holding to the precept of his ancestor, Fred- 
erick the Great, ^'that he belonged to the State rather 
than the State to him," he deemed it his duty to foster 
and preserve the physical vigor and moral strength 
required of one destined to his high and exalted position. 

Accordingly, we read that his daily habits were those 
of a man with a purpose in life. 

He had little taste for the levities and follies of court 
ways, spending fourteen out of his twenty-four hours in 
the various tasks of his great office ; and it is related of 
him that, believing himself called upon to serve as an 
example to his army, of order and readiness for action, 
he was always dressed in his uniform and military boots, 
or, until the later years of his life, when, under the advice 
of his ph slcian, he exchanged his heavy military trappings 
for the lighter official garb. 

In order to show the discipline to which he had sub- 
jected himself for almost eighty years, the following de- 
tails of his daily habits for the last few months of his life 
are here given : 


At seven o'clock in the morning a valet entered the 
Emperor's bedroom with a small cup of tea, which he 
drank before rising. In former times it had been his cus- 
tom to rise when he felt that he had slept enough, and to 
go at once to his dressing-room; but of late he had made 
it his habit to lie in bed for an hour and a half after 
waking. At half past eight he arose, and with very little 
assistance dressed himself. He had three personal serv- 
ants, who took turns in waiting upon him for twenty-four 
hours at a time. These were his wardrobe man, Engel, and 
his two valets, Ukermaker and Krause. At nine the Em- 
peror went to his library, where he breakfasted, usually 
on tea and toast. On Tuesdays and Fridays, however, 
breakfast was served about twenty minutes earlier than 
usual, and by nine o'clock he was in his study, where he 
received the report of the president of police. On other 
days, the Emperor did not begin work until twenty minutes 
after nine. His first business was to open letters and sign 
documents. Punctually at ten Herr von Wilmowski, the 
chief of the civil cabinet, arrived for a brief interview, 
and from that hour audiences succeeded audiences until 
half past twelve, when he took his second breakfast. This 
consisted invariably of a basin of plain soup and some 
meat of an easily digestible kind. The menu for break- 
fast and dinner was drawn up by a physician in consulta- 
tion with the cook, and then submitted to the Emperor, 
who generally made some slight alterations; but there is no 
foundation for the stories that have been told of his inor- 
dinate fondness for hot boiled lobsters and crabs. The 
doctors had ordered the Emperor to drink a glass of good 
old Bordeaux with his breakfast as well as with dinner; 
but he cared little for wine and generally deluged his Bor- 


deaux with the national Selzer water. When the guards 
of the palace were relieved, the Emperor seldom failed to 
appear at the well-known window to return the saluta- 
tions of the crowd which was always assembled without. 
After the second breakfast there were more audiences 
and interviews, until it was time for the daily drive. He 
usually returned about 3 o'clock and at once resumed 
work. Between three and five the higher officials of the 
Emperor had audience and at five dinner was announced. 
It lasted an hour, and immediately afterward the Emperor 
went back to his study, when for an hour he read the 
newspapers of the day or had passages from them read 
to him. At seven he ordered his carriage, and, if he had 
nothing more important to do, went either to the theater 
or to the opera. Ke always had been a great lover of the 
drama, and was very unwilling to allow anything to inter- 
fere with his evening enjoyment of it; yet, for many 
years he had made it his rule never to go to the theater 
while the body of one of the leaders of his armies or of 
any old political servant lay unburied. When the Em- 
peror returned from the theater, tea was served, and some 
time was spent in social conversation, but at about 10 
o'clock he went once more to his study to give attention 
to any pressing matters that might have come up during 
the day. After having disposed of these he went to his 
room and at 11 o'clock the valet of the day left him, taking 
away the lamp and leaving a lighted night-lamp on the 
table by the bed-side. The Emperor slept uncommonly 
well, and the tinkle of the electric bell which rings in the 
neighboring room in which sits the valet on duty was 
very seldom heard during the night. 

He was very found of corn-flowers and liked to have a 


vase of them filled on his study table, and he often declared 
jocosely, that if there were no corn-flowers, there would be 
no work done. Flowers for this vase were, therefore, 
specially grown in a hot-house at Potsdam all the year 
round. For making marginal notes upon public docu- 
ments, the Emperor generally used a very thick pencil. 
These also were specially prepared for him ; but for years he 
used an ordinary carpenter's pencil, and he only relin- 
quished it when it was represented to him that the softness 
of the lead caused his writing to smear and become illegible. 
Emperor William never smoked nor took snuff, and any 
spare moments that were at his disposal during the day, 
were spent with the Empress, in whose presence he was 
always most punctilious and attentive. At the time of 
the attempted assassination by Noebling, in 1878, the 
Empress was in very bad health, and she was una6le to go 
to her husband's room until some days after the event. 
At last she dragged herself down stairs to his apartment, 
ejaculating ^'how happy I shall be to see you again!" 
The Emperor, whose room was full of officers, and whose 
door was open, heard her, and laughingly shouted, "Well, 
come along, wife ; coiiie along !" And when the Empress 
appeared, both burst into tears. The Emperor had very sim- 
ple, suave manners, but he was not interesting, and had not 
much conversation. In this respect he contrasted with 
Bismarck, who can be a delightful boon companion, because 
he has so much to say, and says it in such an original way. 
Emperor William's countenance went a long way in 
giving charm to his address, whereas the countenance of 
the Chancellor has often gleams of savage ferocity, and 
shows that the cunning of a wild animal can be united to 
intellect. At different times, and on noteworthy occasions 


both master and man could be seen together. The Emp- 
eror was to the observer much more a puzzle than Bis- 
marck. There were moments when he struck one as being 
somewhat the apparent hon homme^ leaving things to Bis- 
marck with a private intent to do as he pleased. He liked 
to be on good terms with Providence, to be true to his princi- 
ples, and to set a good moral as well as military example 
to his armed nation. 

Taking all in all. Emperor William was the finest 
specimen of the old gentleman that could be imagined. 
If he lived in soldiers' uniform from the age of seven to 
ninety-one, and was a strict disciplinarian to himself, he 
was free from buckram and pipe-clay. His smile was 

The Emperor let the ladies of his family be as exact- 
ing as they pleased, except in military affairs or politics. 
Nor would he have minded their interfering with the 
latter if Bismarck had not stood out against the ^' petti- 
coat camarilla." 

William remembered his mother's virtual Kingship 
of Prussia — to its advantage. Then he rather enjoyed 
yielding to female despotism. His weakness in this 
respect made the Chancellor wage a relentless war on 
the Empress and her tea-party cronies. The " Victorias " 
were his pet animosities. 

Though not miserly, the Emperor loved thrift and 
plain living. What he spent on himself was trifling. His 
household w^as kept up on the economical lines dear to his 
ancestors. The Crown Prince's income was small. The 
Empress had often to make the birthday gifts she wanted 
to present to friends and relatives, ter private purse was 
so slender. So had the Crown Princess. She gave pict- 


ures of her own painting. Her mother-in-law gave stand- 
ard works in which were bound blank sheets filled up by 
her with autograph annotations. The Emperor thus grew 
comparatively wealthy. When Prince of Prussia he was 
fond of romping games and practical jokes in the home 
circle. He had a sense of fun and of humor. In music, 
of which he was very fond, he preferred Weber to Wagner. 

Notwithstanding the order in which Emperor William 
kept his papers, he left quantities of letters in a cupboard 
at the Versailles prefecture, where Mme. Thiers found them. 
Hundreds of them were letters from French victims of 
the war or exasperated patriots. They were all annotated 
in the Emperor's handwriting. The marginal observa- 
tions were creditable in the extreme to him. In noting 
complaints of how Prussian soldiers had harried villages, 
he said, " This must be put a stop to." In another letter 
he was accused of waging a wicked war, so he wrote: 
" This may be true. God give me light." There were 
notes of orders for money to be sent to some families 
which had been burned out of house and home." 

True to his profession when a mere boy, he steadily 
continued to value those who had rendered him service. 
He was devotedly thankful to Prince Bismarck for the great 
services that statesman had performed both for him and 
his country. He never failed to honor him when an 
opportunity to do so presented itself, and was not to be 
outdone by the people in their demonstration of admiration 
and gratitude for the great Chancellor. 

On the Ist of April, 1885, Prince Bismarck celebrated 
his seventieth birthday. It was made the occasion of fes- 
tivals and rejoicing all over Germany. They all felt that, 
although he had been a hard task-master, the country owed 


him much. He was the recipient of many testimonials of 
esteem and good will, and at the close of that day he must 
have retired with the satisfactory resum6 in his mind that 
if he was cursed by a few, he was loved and honored by 
the many. 

The most prominent of his admirers who improved the 
opportunity to present him with a testimonial of their 
gratefulness was Emperor WiUiam himself, who, in com- 
pany with the Crown Prince and other members of the 
family paid Prince Bismarck a friendly visit, and presented 
him with a reduced copy of Von Werner's great painting, 
"The Proclamation of the Empire at Versailles," ac- 
companied by the foUuwing autographic letter from the 
Emperor : 

"My Dear Prince — The German people having shown 
a warm desire to testify to you, on the occasion of your 
seventieth birthday, that the recollection of all you have 
done for the greatness of the Fatherland lives in so many 
grateful hearts, I, too, feel strongly impelled to tell 
you how deeply gratified I am that such a feeling of 
thankfulness and veneration for you moves the nation. 
I am rejoiced at this, for you have most richly earned 
the recognition, and my heart is warmed at seeing such 
sentiments manifested in so great a measure; for it dig- 
nifies the nation in the present, and strengthens our hopes 
of its future, when it shows appreciation of the true and 
the great, and when it celebrates and honors its most 
meritorious men. To me, and to my house, it is an especial 
pleasure to take part in such a festival; and by the 
accompanying picture, we wish to convey to you with 
what feelings of grateful recollection we do this, seeing 
that it calls to mind one of the greatest moments in the 


history of the House of HohenzoUern — one which can 
never be thought of without at the same time recalling 
your merits. 

" You, my dear Prince, know how I shall always be 
animated towards you with feelings of the fullest confi- 
dence, of the most sincere affection, and the warmest grat- 
itude; but, in saying this, I tell you nothing which I 
have not often enough already repeated to you, and mo- 
th inks that this painting will enable your latest descend- 
ants to realize that your Eaiser and King, as well as his 
house, were well conscious of what they had to thank you 
for. With these sentiments and feelings, which will last 
beyond the grave, I end these lines. 

"Tour grateful, faithful and devoted Kaiser and King, 


This was the proudest moment in the life of the great 
statesman. For it was more than the formal acknowl- 
edgment of a grateful sovereign — ^it was a proclamation to 
the present and to coming generations, by the crowned 
representative of the German people, that by honoring in 
Bismark truth and greatness, they honored them^lves. | 

Two years later, on the 22d day of March, 1887, 
Emperor William celebrated his own birthday. It was 
his ninetieth^ and was the last he enjoyed on earth. The 
day was enthusiastically commemorated, not only in Ger- 
many, but wherever the German tongue is spoken. 

That the German people had a profound and ardent 
love for the Emperor i& t fact that was patent to every- 
body who lived for any length of time among them. 
They admire and respect Bismarck, but they also fear 
him. The great Chancellor never had the knack of making 
himself a place in the public heart. It is said that even 


in the princely family circle love is somewhat strongly 
flavored with awe. But with the Emperor it was quite 
otherwise. Not only was he the object of love on the 
part of his family, but the same feeling was found through- 
out the Empire and among all classes of people. When- 
ever the Emperor returned from opening the new Prussian 
Parliament to the old palace, the Linden was lined with 
people on both sides, and as his majesty drove by the 
entire multitude would stand with uncovered heads. 
There was no mistaking the sentiment with which these 
people regarded the man. 

Fredrick SchiUer's sentence in his great poem, "The 
Bell," ''Das Werk es soU dm Meister lobm,'' (" The work 
shall praise its master "), never found a more appropriate 
application than in the instance of the founder of the new 
German Empire. 

, ' 

' •- .< 




AT THE beginning of March, 1888, the aged Emperor 
r\ was found to be suffering from an aflfection of the 
mucous membrane of the throat and irritation of the 
membrane of the eyelids — the general symptoms of a 
cold, to which were added, after a few days, painful 
abdominal disorders, in consequence of which his appetite 
materially diminished. Becoming greatly weakened 
through his disinclination to receive nourishment, but a 
few days had passed before he fell into frequent fainting 
fits. The morning of March 7 brought the certainty to 
the attending physicians that the Emperor, could not 
recover. His real ailment wsisrenal calculvsy which is the 
crudest of all kidney diseases. 

The Grand Duchess of Baden, the Emperor's daugh- 
ter, and her husband, and the Crown Princess of Sweden, 
the Emperor's granddaughter, were telegraphed for, and 
arrived the following morning. 

At midnight there had been no change for the worse, 
but not until then had the Emperor been able to sleep. 
Morphia had been administered; but during the night he 
had frequent and serious fainting fits. The doctors were 
unable to wake him to administer food until late in the 

On the morning of the 8th the Emperor spoke a 
few words to Prince William about the impending 
drill of the guards, but in a wandering manner. 



Prince Bismarck tried to speak to him, but it was 
useless. The Emperor soon fell into a swoon, and 
his pulse, which was usually 57, rose to 108 and he had a 
fever. About midday he became conscious and the sacra- 
ment was administered. At noon all the members of the 
Imperial family except the crown prince and crown prin- 
cess were in a room adjoining that occupied by tlie Emper- 
or. At 12:25 Court Chaplain Kogel gave the last sacra- 
ment to the Emperor. Before this he had been occasion- 
ally delirious. 

The Empress and the Grand Duchess of Baden remained 
with the Emperor throughout the night. At one o'clock 
the next morning the Emperor's voice was so strong that 
it could be heard outside his room. He was given oysters 
and egg and a little champagne and sherry. lie was fully 
conscious, showing an interest in what was passing around 
him. He asked the Grand Duchess of Baden, who sat by 
the bed, whether she had already dined and with whom, 
and then asked why she had not dined with the Empress." 
He expressed regret that he was "causing so much trou- 
ble" — a gentleman to the last. An immense but silent 
crowd stood near the palace all day, notwithstanding the 
fact that a cold rain was falling. The palace was 
guarded by cavalry. Business in the city was virtually 
suspended and the theatres were closed. 

Divine service was held in the palace at 5 o'clock. 
All the members of the Imperial family,, the Court dig- 
nitaries, and the members of the household were present. 
Hundreds of people stood bareheaded in the rain outside 
the Palace and joined in the prayers offered by Chaplain 

Prince Bismarck went to the bedside at five o'clock 


and the Emperor spoke to him. It was the parting 
moment between friend and friend, rather than king and 
subject, and so Prince Bismarck seemed to consider it. 
From this hour on, with few lucid moments, the Emperor 
passed the night, dying at 8 o'clock a.m., March 9 th. 

He was buried March 16th, at noon, in the Eoyal Mau- 
soleum,of Charlottenburg,his remains being placed between 
the tombs of his father and mother — that mother whose 
memory he worshiped with a reverence so profound and 
tender that he was often heard sadly repeating to himself 
the couplet, said to have been written by her at the cot- 
tage where she passed the night on her flight to the East 
of Prussia, 

" Who never ate his bread with tears. 
Who never aat through nightly hours 
Upon his bed, a prey to fears. 
He knows you not, ye Heavenly Powers." 

The grand and imposing funeral, which lacked what 
should have been its most interesting feature — the pres- 
ence of the new Emperor and King, Frederick III., who 
was compelled by the state of his health and by the severe 
weather to remain within the palace at Charlottenburg — 
was attended by kings and royal princes, and by repre- 
sentatives of aU European nations, as well as of Germany, 
and was especially a demonstration of patriotic loyalty on 
the part of the capital and kingdom of valiant Prussia. 

The body. of the aged monarch lay in state at the 
Domkircbe or cathedral of Berlin from Monday, the 13 th, 
to Thursday night, on a catafalque erected in front of 
the altar, covered with purple vdvet, having an ermine 
border. The Emperor's head, on a white silk pillow, was 
covered with his military cap, the body clad in the oni- 

Death akd burial of empeboh avxlliam i. 477 

form ot the First RegimeDt of the Guards, and wrapped 
in the gray military cloak. The decorations on the breast 
were the star of the Black Eagle, the order Pour le Merite^ 
and the Qrand Cross of the Iron Cross suspended from 
the neck. At the feet was deposited a laurel wreath. By 
the catafalque were placed five tabourets, with the crown, 
insignia and orders of the late Emperor. On each side 
were three large candelabra, each holding thirty lighted 
wax tapers. An immense mass of floral wreaths, some 
of huge size, and of every variety of design, accumulated 
round the catafalque. The highest court dignitaries and 
officials and generals of the Prussian army kept guard 
over the body of their sovereign. The whole interior of 
the church, its columns as well as the altar and pulpit, 
had been draped in black. It was densely thronged with 
visitors coming in and going out. The Empress Victoria, 
the Crown Prince and others of the imperial family early 
visited the church ; the Crown Prince returned with the 
officers of his Hussar regiment of Guards. The Prince of 
Wales, on Thursday, with Prince Albert Victor and 
the Duke of Cambridge, paid his reverence to the body of 
the deceased Emperor; so did the Crown Prince of Aus- 
tria, the Czare witch, the King of the Belgians, the King 
and Queen of Eoumania, the Crown Princes of Denmark 
and of Sweden, and the German Grand Dukes and Princes. 

The streets and public edifices of Berlin, as the day of 
the funeral approached, put on their garb of mourning. 

The funeral ceremonies began with a religious service 
in the Cathedral, performed by the Rev. Dr. Kogel, the 
Court Chaplain, assisted by other clergymen. The high 
Court officials and Ministers of State, except Prince Bis- 
marck, stood at the tabourets aroimd the bier ; the Em- 


press Victoria, with the Princesses of the Imperial fam- 
ily, the Queen of Koumania and other ladies of royal or 
princely rank, occupied seats to the left of the altar ; the 
King of Saxony, King of the Belgians, King of Eou- 
mania, Imperial and Royal Crown Princes, Grand Dukes 
and many other Princes, to the right. After the bene- 
diction, the soldiers outside fired three salutes ; and the 
military officers, General Von Pape commanding the 
Guards, and his aides-de-camp, General Von Lehndorflf 
and Prince Eadziwill, with drawn swords, took their post 
at the head of the coffin, while deputations from several 
Prussian, Bavarian, Saxon and WUrtemberg regiments 
drew up at its foot. The coffin was then raised by 
twelve Colonels, and carried, preceded by the royal 
Chamberlains and the State Ministers, bearing the imperial 
insignia, followed by the Imperial banner, to the royal 
hearse, while four Knights of the Order of the Black 
Eagle held the corners of the pall, and the Generals car- 
ried the baldaquin above the royal coffin. The organ 
continued playing whilst Her Majesty and the royal fam- 
ily took their places in the funeral procession. The pro- 
cession then started, amidst the pealing of all the bells of 
the town, over the Castle bridge, through the center 
promenade Under den Linden, through the Brandenburg 
Gate, as far as the Sieges -Allee. It was escorted by 
squadrons from eight cavalry regiments, with trumpeters, 
seven battalions of infantry (the Guards), with regimen- 
tal bands, and twelve guns of field artillery. The Eoyal 
household preceded the different "insignia," the Electoral 
Sword and Hat of Brandenburg, the Order of the Black 
Eagle, the Imperial Seal, Sword, Globe and Sceptre, and 
the Eoyal Crown, each carried by a Minister of State. 


Then came the hearse, drawn by six black horses, led by 
Staflf Colonels, with Generals holding the pall and balda- 
quin. The late Emperor's war-horse was led behind it. 
General Von Pape bore the Imperial banner of white silk 
with a black eagle. The foreign Kings, Crown Princes, 
German Grand Dukes and Royal Princes, walked together, 
mostly wearing their hats and cloaks, followed by Ambassa- 
dors, Generals, and officers of their suites. The Imperial 
Chancellor, Prince Bismarck, and Field-Marshal Count 
Moltke, could not join in the procession ; but the Coun- 
cillors of State, the Presidents of the German Reichs- 
tag and Prussian Landtag, the heads of the Govern- 
ment offices and of the Church, and deputations from the 
Univeraities, magistracy, provincial councils and munici- 
palities passed in due order. In rear of the procession 
were more infantry and artillery. The line of route from 
the Cathedral to the Sieges-Allee was kept by various 
guilds of the town, and by students of the German Uni- 
versities. The widowed Empress Augusta saw the pro- 
cession from a window of the Old Palace. 

At the Sieges-Allee, in the Thiergarten, the imperial 
and royal personages, with many others of rank, left the 
procession and entered their carriages to drive on to Char- 
lottenburg. The Empress Victoria and the Crown Prince, 
and others of the Imperial family, had reached the palace 
and were with the Emperor, who looked out from an upper 
window to see the procession go through the park to the 
mausoleum. It passed through a long avenue of pine and 
fir trees, to that small marble building, at the door of which 
the coffin was taken from the hearse and carried in. The 
chief mourners, the Empress Victoria, the Crown Prince 
and Prince Henry, and the Grand Duchess of Baden, 


with their friends, then entered the mausoleum. The walls 
inside were decorated with wreaths of flow^ers. The Rev. 
Dr. Kogel said over the coflBn a few prayers and a bless- 
ing. Finally, the Empress and all the other mourners, 
one by one, knelt by the coffin in silent pm3"er. At tiieir 
departure, a salute of 101 guns was fired by the artillery 
in the park. 

In his wiU, written by himself, the late Emperor 
William, according to the National Zeitung^ left only 
24,000,000 marks, $6,000,000, of which sum the Empi-ess 
receives $750,000, the Grand Duchess of Baden, the Crown 
Prince and Princess, and Prince Henry each $250,000, 
the latter receiving also an estate purchased for him. Of 
a sum of $250,000 saved by the Emperor, the Emperor 
Frederick is to receive, according to a clause inserted in 
the will in tlie sixtieth year of the late Emperor's life, 
$93,000, and the Grand Duchess of Baden $62,000. The 
Crown Treasury is to receive $3,000,000, the i-emainder 
being absorbed by various other bequests. To the Hall 
of Glory the following objects: The sword which he 
carried from 1810 to 1834, the sword he carried in the 
battle of Koniggratz, July 3, 1866, and all through the 
Austrian and Franco-Gei'man wars, its blade having the 
names of the principal battles engraved upon it ; the sword 
carried by him on parades, the sword inherited from his 
brother. King Frederick William IV.; all his decorations 
for military merit, together with the presents received on 
his military jubilees, and his gold and silver laurel wreaths ; 
and finally the sword carried by his father in the unlucky 
days of 1806 and during the Napoleonic wars, which 
during the Emperor's lifetime (as distinctly added by him) 
always stood by his writing-desk in the historic corner 

Death ai^d ruiual Of emperor William i. 481 

room of the Royal Palace. As a souvenir, the Lichterfelde 
Qorps of Cadets received the sword presented to the 
Emperor at St. Petersburg in 1834, and carried by him 
until the morning of the day of Koniggnitz. Finally 
the Emperor ordered the uniforms of all the regiments of 
which he was the honorary commander, to be distributed 
to the respective regiments. 

" Vale^ Senex Imperator. " Such was the touching fare- 
well of the people of Berlin to the sovereign who raised 
their city to be the capital of United Germany. All that 
was mortal of him had passed from their midst, but his 
spirit and work remain as a priceless heritage for them 
and the whole German people. This is what gives to 
the late ceremonial its deep historical significance. It 
was no mere court ceremonial, such as invest with pomp 
and circumstance the burial of an ordinary sovereign who 
has succeeded to a secure throne and occupied it with 
peace and prosperity. It was a whole nation's mourning 
for a man who first made it one with itself. The 
Emperor William was no man of genius in the ordinary 
sense, and his military capacity is not to be compared with 
his ancestor, Frederick the Great ; but he had the inesti- 
mable gifts in a ruler of good sense, of simplicity of char- 
acter, of unswerving fidelity to the interests of his coun- 
try, of untiring industry in the discharge of his public 
duties. " I have no time to be tired " was one of his last 
utterances. " My life is on the decline," said Frederick 
the Great a short time before his death, " the time which I 
still have I must employ. It belongs not to me, but to the 
State." In these two utterances of two great Hohen- 
zoUems we have the true spirit of the HohenzoUern race, 
the spirit which has raised the HohenzoUems to the 


throne of Prussia^ and Prussia to the hegemony of Ger- 
many. It was to this spirit that the whole German 
nation did homage in its mourning for its lost Emperor. 
It recognized in him the best representative of its own 
earnestness, its own native piety of disposition, its own 
firm grasp of reality, its own homespun integrity, its own 
love of the Fatherland, its own passionate aspirations after 
national unity and greatness, its own patient endurance 
of the labors, trials and perils which those aspirations 
entailed. For this reason the noise of the mourning of a 
mighty nation has resounded throughout the world — for 
Germans are everywhere — and has met with a heartfelt 
response from all who honor true greatness and respect a 
people's sorrow ; for United Germany may well say of its 
first Emperor with the poet, he was 

' Great, yet with leaBt pretence, 
Great in council and great in war» 
Foremost captain of his time. 
Rich in saving common sense. 
And as the greatest only are. 
In his simplicity sublime." ' 



UPON the death of Emperor William I. his only son 
was at once proclaimed Emperor of Germany and 
King of Prussia under the title of Frederick III. He 
was at San Eemo at the time when his father fell ill, and 
was unable to be present at his bedside when the end took 
place. But immediately afterwards, and in spite of the 
precarious condition of his own health, he left San Eemo 
to assume his new duties at Berlin. He issued the usual 
proclamation to his subjects (supplementing it with a 
letter to Prince Bismarck), in which he shadowed forth a 
programme of educational and social reforms for the 
Empire, but also indicated with sufficient clearness that nis 
foreign policy would be one of peace. He was unable, 
however, owing to inclement weather, to be present at 
his father's funeral or to go through the usual ceremonies 
in the Prussian Diet and the German Eeichstag, attend- 
ant on the assumption of sovereignty. 

As has been before stated, Frederick TIL was the only 
son of the late Emperor of Germany, and was born at 
the palace of Potsdam, October 13, 1831. He was, conse- 
quently, about eighteen years old at the breaking out of 
the revolution in Germany, in 1848, and was an interested 
witness of the stormy scenes of this period. This fact, 
coupled with the circumstance that he was educated from 
the first for a military life, helped to prepare him for the 
great part he was destined to perform in the unification 
of Germany. 


484 " UNSER FRITZ." 

At the same time, it was, perhaps, as well for a time 
at least, that the young Prince was not thrust very 
prominently forward either in political or military life; 
this saved him from losing that love of domesticity which 
forms the chief if not the sole relief from the pressure of 
the military Germany. It was not till the mind of 
his uncle gave way, and his father was, in consequence, 
appointed Regent, that the young Prince became a per- 
sonage in the public life of his country. Three years 
later his father ascended the throne as William L, 
and he, in consequence, became popularly known as the 
Crown Prince of Prussia. Meanwhile, he had risen to the 
position of General in the army. An event, however, 
had by this time occurred, which although neither polit- 
ical nor military, was yet of no inconsiderable importance 
from the standpoint not only of Germany, but of Great 
Britain, and was his marriage with the Princess Vic- 
toria Adelaide, the oldest daughter of Queen Victoria, of 
England. Prince Frederick was twenty-six years of age 
and the Princess seventeen. It is said to have been a 
love match from the first, and the union proved a singu- 
larly happy one, the Prince and Princess having many 
tastes in common ; and when the war broke out the Princess 
had an arduous task to perform, and one very differ- 
ent from that to which her life in England had accus- 
tomed her: she had to take her place by her husband's 
side, almost literally in the field. She was, however, able 
to perform her part with perfect success. In consequence, 
she became as great a favorite in Berlin as she had pre- 
viously been in London. The issue of the marriage were 
seven children — Frederick William Victor Albert, bom 
January 27, 1859, who, popularly known as Prince Wil- 

" UN8ER FRITZ." 485 

liam, and married to the Princess Victoria of Schleswig- 
Ilolstein Augustenburg, now succeeds to his father's posi- 
tion; Victoria Elizabeth Augusta Charlotte, born July 
24, 1860; Albert William Henry, bom August 14, 1862; 
Frederick Amelia Wilhehnina Victoria, born April 12, 
1866; Joachim Frederick Ernest Waldemar, bom Feb- 
ruary 10, 1868, (now dead) ; Sophia Dorothy Ulrica Alice, 
born June 14, 1876 ; and Margaret Beatrix Feodore, bom 

April 22, 1872. 

It was not till the year 1866 that the Crown Prince of 
Prussia was enabled to show the practical value of the 
training he had received in the art of warfare. For mili- 
tary, and perhaps also for family reasons, he took no part 
in the war which broke out in the Duchies of Schles- 
wig and Holstein, between the Kingdom of Denmark on 
the one hand and Austria and Prussia on the other. But 
(as has been seen in a foraier chapter) in June, 1866, the 
conquerors of Denmark, Prussia and Austria quarreled. 
The Crown Prince and his relative, Prince Frederick 
Charles, were appointed to the command of the two 
armies which Marshal von Moltke sent forward for the 
invasion of Austria. The Crown Prince's part in the 
campaign was of the most difficult, yet also most brilliant, 
description. He led his troops, numbering 125,000 men, 
from Silesia through the passes of the frontier into Bohe- 
mia, an operation attended with the greatest difficulty. 

One of the engagements that took place, known as the 
battle of Nachod, threatened to have somewhat serious 
consequences for the Crown Prince. The advance guard 
of the Pmssian army was forced to retire by the fire of 
the Austrian artillery, and two squadrons of dragoons, 
ordered to stop an Austrian Cuirassier regiment, were 

*^6 "UNSER FfilTZ." 

driven back Ifke chaff. " Confusion," says one eye-witness, 
seemed to cover the advance, and the Crown Prince 
entangled in the whirl, was for a moment unable to extri- 
cate himself from the mass of dismounted dragoons, loose 
hors^, mfantry columns, artillery and ammunition wagons 
mmglmg with each other in the narrow and steep^a^s! 
The first moments of surprise over, the Crown Prince 
ordered up artillery to his right, and in the couree of the 
day upwards of eighty gnns were m position at one time 
sweeping the ground which sinks from Wvsokow down- 
wards towards Skalitz. The Austrians, whcise sole purpose 
during the day had been to turn the Prussian right, were 

of"stl 1 "^ ^^ f P' """^ ^* ^^"^ ^'^'^^k the Uole 
p1!! nf w ,^'T ^f debouched, fighting, out of the 
Pa^s of Wysokow." The Crown Prince gained another 
victory at Skalitz, this time over the Archduke Leonid S 
Austria Fmally, he was able to interfere, and wiih de- 
cisive effect, at the battle of Sadowa or KbniggrStz, which 
took place on the 3d of July, 

This great battle, which decided the supremacy of 
Prussia in the affairs of Germany, ha. been describ^ L 
Chapter X., page 384 of this volume. 

When the Franco-German War broke out in 1870 it 
was natural that the Crown Prince should b; appointed 
to a promment position of command. He was charc^d 
with the task of invading Fi^ce through AlsaS ^d S 
rame. [See page 413.] «»"" -lwx: 

For his eminent services to his countiy and father 

npon him the nighest military dignity known in the Gei- 
man Army, that of Field-Marehal General 

thJ^ll ^"/^^"^Ph lettersof the Emperor, accompanyimr 
the promotion, read as follows: p«"ymg 

« tt«tot:<t, ^T>Tm'» " 


" Versailles, October 28, 1870. 

"Whereas, in consequence of the capitulation of Marshal 
Bazaine and the surrender of the fortress of Metz, the 
two armies that had been arrayed against the joint forces 
of Prussia and Bavaria in July last, at the opening of a 
war which was entirely unprovoked by us, have fallen 
prisoners to their foe, I feel myself constrained to mark 
this important pause in the hostilities by an act of special 
significance. In bringing our diificult task to a successful 
issue, you have had a prominent part ; first, at the open- 
ing of the campaign, by two victories in rapid sequence ; 
next, by covering the left flank of the main body by a 
strategical advance, that it might proceed in security to 
attack the army of Bazaine ; further, by effecting a junc- 
tion of your division with the Grand Army to follow up 
the operations against Sedan ; and now, finally, by proceed- 
ing to invest Paris itself; every one of which achieve- 
ments serves to betoken a great and successful commander. 
It is only fitting, therefore, that you should be promoted 
to the very highest military rank, and accordingly I 
hereby appoint you Field-Marshal General. 

" It is the first time that this distinction (which at the 
same time, I confer upon Prince Frederick Charles) has 
ever been borne by a prince of our line. But the suc- 
cesses achieved in this campaign are of so much higher 
and more pregnant importance than those that have pre- 
ceded them, that I hold myself completely justified in 
departing from what has hitherto been the rule of our 
house. What my fraternal heart feels in making this 
signal expression of the gratitude of your King and of 
your fatherland, no words of mine need tell. 

" Your affectionate and grateful father, ** Wiluam." 


The modest dignity with which this extraordinary dis- 
tinction was received by Frederick is exemplified in the 
reply made to. a congratulatory letter from hisoldcom_ 
mander, Field-Marshal General Von Wrangol. 

" The King," he said, " has informed me of my promo- 
tion in an autograph letter, as grateful as gracious, in 
which lie specifies the reasons which have impelled him 
to depart from the usages of our house, a prince of which 
has never hitherto been made Field-Marshal. As my 
brave troops are also honored in my promotion, I accept 
the new dignity, rejoicing that the credit appertains to 
others besides myself. 

" Great things have been accomplished by our arms, 
and now it is to be trusted that the work of bloodshed 
may be crowned by a peace that shall be a securitj^ for 
the well-being of our fellow-countrymen, and advance the 
internal aggrandizement of what we hope we may now 
designate our great and united Fatherland. 

" I thank you for all your proofs of kindly sympathy, 
and especially for the message which I have just received 
from you, my old comrade and commander of 1864." 

When, on the 18th of January, 1871, his father was 
proclaimed German Emperor within the " Hall of Mirrors," 
at the Palace of Versailles, he was present, and had as- 
signed to him a prominent place in the ceremonial of the 
day. At the same time the Crown Prince, in virtue of 
his birth, became Prince Imperial and heir to the throne 
of Germany. 

At the close of the war, but previous to the disband- 
ment of the army, the Grown Prince was ordered home 
by his father to attend to the duties of State. Before 
leaving his brave troops with whom he had shared the 


dangers and hardships of a sanguinary campaign, he 
issued the following farewell address : 

" Soldiers of the Third Army I When, last July, I un- 
dertook the command over you, I did not hesitate to 
express my trust that the bravery of the united German 
races would succeed in vanquishing the foe who had inso- 
lently challenged us to fight. That confidence you have 
. admirably vindicated, for in this eventful campaign the 
Third Army has won as many victories as it has seen 

" At the outset you broke through the enemy's door 
at Weissenburg, thus opening the way for your career of 
victory, and within two days afterwards, the enemy, 
obstinate as he was, was routed in the engagement at 
Worth ; in rapid march you hung upon his retreat, and took 
your glorious part in the decisive action of Sedan. With 
unabated ardor you pressed onwards to the heart of the 
hostile country, drove the fugitives back within the walls 
of their capital, and for well-nigh five months, with in- 
credible endurance, bearing up against the severities and 
hardships of a trying winter, you kept them closely be- 

Upon his return to Germany " TTnser Fritz," as he was 
now generaUy called, subsided into the old position he 
had occupied before, although naturally with an acces- 
sion of dignity and reputation. He was, besides, a man 
of forty years of age, and, as was to be expected, had 
opinions of his own. It was about this time that it became 
generally understood, both, that he did not hold quite 
the same views of the European situation and of the 
attitude of Germany toward her neighbors, as Priuce Bis- 
marck, and that he was influenced in his views upon many 

490 " UNSER FKITZ." ' 

things by the Crown Princess — much better and more 
generally known, as the Princess Koyal of Great Britain. 
As events turned out, this surmise proved correct, at least 
essentially. -Not that the Crown Prince ever quarreled 
with the great Chancellor, to whose policy the completion 
of the task of the unification of Germany was due, as no 
one was readier to admit this than himself. But he had 
a more friendly, or perhaps it should be termed a more 
considerate feeling for France than his father's friend, and 
there is reason to believe that this feeling was shown to 
some purpose a few years after the war, when, as was 
proved afterward, a scare in Berlin very nearly led to an 
early renewal of the war. On that occasion the Crown 
Prince's weight in his father's council was thrown into 
the scale opposed to the Chancellor, and his opinion car- 
ried the day. Further, the Empress Victoria very natu- 
rally took over to Germany from her country a good 
number of the opinions she had inherited from her 
mother in regard to education, the value of art, etc., as -a 
a civilizing agent, and the position of women in society. 
She very naturally gave effect to these opinions as circum- 
stances permitted, and to a certain extent she became un- 
popular with the more old-fashioned of the German aris- 
tocracy. Under her influence the Crown Prince developed 
an interest in art, technical education, and a number of 
those subjects to which the late Prince Albert was partial, 
and indeed it was very commonly said of her, by way of 
summing up the charges against her, that she sought to 
model her husband upon her father. The Crown Prince, 
however, sustained no evil effects from the influence. In 
England, " the White Prince," as he was commonly styled, 
from the uniform which he wore on great State occasions, 

a TT^TOw^n -n.V>-rr.«. >5 


was quite as much a favorite as he was in his native Prus- 
sia, owing to his modesty of demeanor, his fondness for 
the pleasure of domesticity, and his liberal and unosten- 
tatious charity. ♦ 

"And afterw^ards, whilst one detachment was employed 
in keeping back the forces, which overmatched you in 
numbers, from advancing to relieve the invested city, and 
was thus continually in the midst of bloodshed, the 
troops, who were intrusted with the seige, energetically 
repulsed every sortie till the enemy had no alternative 
but to lay down his arms and to open the proud gates, of 
which he had boasted, that they were impregnable. 

" Such achievements belong to history, and you who 
have wrought them, the Fatherland accounts as worthy 
sons. But glorious as is the issue, it has not been attained 
without costly and painful sacrifice, and it is with the 
most sympathizing sorrow that we recall the memory of 
our fallen comrades, whose fame shall never die. 

"An honorable peace being thus concluded, it is by the 
Emperor's command that I return home. In leaving you 
I offer you my true and earnest thanks ; I part from you, 
Prussians and Bavarians, troops of Wtirtemberg and of 
Baden, with the unshaken confidence that the bond of 
comradeship formed on the field of battle wMll never be 
torn asunder, but rather be strengthened by time, for the 
honor, renown and well-being of the common German 

(Signed) " Fbederick William, 

" Crown Prince, 
"Commander-in-chief of the Third Army. 

"Nancy, March 14, 18T1." 

As we have seen before, the Crown Prince was not in 

492 "UNSER FBITZ.** 

full sympathy with Prince Bismarck's policy, and conse- 
quently improved every opportunity to conveniently 
absent himself from the sittings of the Council of State. 
He visited foreign lands, where, on great occasions, he rep- 
resented his father. Thus, he was present at the opening 
of the Suez Canal, and upon this occasion extended his 
visit to the regions of the Upper Nile and to the Holy 

His diary, which he kept during the journey, is full of 
highly interesting passages, revealing the man of culture 
and sentiment. "Writing of Egypt, he says : " A Nile 
journey is, perhaps, one of the most interesting a traveler 
can undertake. It requires, however, an enormous length 
of time, and, notwithstanding the satisfaction it gave me, 
I confess I have no desire to go a second time." His sin- 
cerity and unpretension in religious belief is expressed in the 
following passage, taken from his description of Palestine: 
"As long as I live I shall never forget this first evening 
in Jerusalem, as I watched the sun set in a stillness which 
is always solemn as it settles over nature. Drawn away 
from earth, the soul seemed able to linger undisturbed 
upon the thought which must thrill through every Chris- 
tian as he surveys the scene on which the great work of 
salvation was consummated. To be in such a place, and 
there to read the familiar passages of the holy Gospels, is 
a religious service of itself." 

Prince Frederick's letter accepting the invitation to 
be present at the unveiling of General Stein's statue,* in 
1872, showed his high appreciation of the services of this 
worthy patriot, rendered in Germany's " War for Inde- 
pendence," and is in marked contrast to the ingratitude 
shown by republics to the men who have sacrificed health, 

"uNSER fritz/' 493 

homes and honorable civQ careers for the success of a 
common cause. " My presence," said he, " at this festi- 
val, will not only show the deep and thankful reverence 
that I feel for this noblest among Germans, but will lay 
ui)on me the obligation of expressing my sympathy with 
Isis leading ideas as a statesman, to which Prussia, in the 
(lays of her misfortune, owed her regeneration and rescue 
from a foreign yoke. May the moral force of these ideas 
which, on one occasion already, have thus resolved them- 
selves into deeds of deliverance, continue so thoroughly 
to pervade the body politic, that in them the Empire may 
find a pledge of a great and happy future." 

To show that, notwithstanding the strong feeling of 
State independence existing still in Gei'many, the feeling, 
also, existed of great love and respect for the prospective 
head of the Eussian Kingdom and the German Empire. 
The welcoming speech of the Burgomaster of Augsburg, 
at the inspection of the Bavarian troops, is here given : 
"I have the honor, most illustrious Prince," said he, ''here, 
at the entrance of our ancient hall, to offer you our most 
joyful and respectful welcome. Our town, which long 
boasted of its rank as a free imperial city, in the lapse of 
time has become truly Bavarian, whilst it has ever re- 
maine<l as truly German. Hence it is that our rejoicing is 
great at the restoration of the Empire, which, whilst it 
secures us the right to manifest the German sentiments 
which we have always cherished, yet reserves us also the 
right of being true Bavarians still." 

The Prince heartily endorsed these sentiments in his 
reply. " I can hardly express my views better than by 
repeating the language I used last year at Munich, to wit: 
that each component element of the German Empire 


should retain its proper individuality, but each, para- 
jnountly revering the Fatherland, should contribute his 
best powers to continue that unity Avhich has been so 
dearly purchased in field and State. That it has fallen to 
my lot to fight in comradeship with your brave country- 
men I shall always remember as one of my highest privi- 
leges, and I shall not fail to treasure up the kindly senti- 
ments of the Bavarian people to myself. My reception 
here binds me to you in still deeper gratitude, and I ask 
you to convey my thanks to the men of Augsburg. God 
grant that the noble aspirations you have breathed for the 
welfare of our Fatherland may be fulfilled and that our 
buds of hope may come in their richest bloom ! Animated 
by this spirit, I can shout, 'Long live His Majesty, King 
Louis II. of Bavaria ! ' " 

Although the education of Frederick III. had been 
principally in the military line, his tastes were evidently 
in the direction of peace. In the progress of the arts 
and agricultural pursuits of the German people he was 
sincerely interested. He deemed agriculture and its 
branches as the chiefest source of his country's prosperity, 
and, from his writings and speeches, it must be assumed 
that, had his life been spared, his special work would have 
been directed towards the elevation, amelioration and 
instruction of the peasantry class of Germany. At a 
speech, made at the Agricultural Exhibition of Bremen, 
in 1874, he said : " In all the fields of industry, which give 
vital progress to the State, that of agriculture deserves 
the most consideration. Who will deny that the pros- 
perity of agricultural interests concern all classes alike; 
not only in times of peace, but more especially in time of 
war, as well as holding out the fairest hope of a calm and 
contented future,^ " 

^riebridf III,, 6er twtblidjent Kaifet pon Drnlfd^lanb nni 'Kontg pon preugm 



Bat of all the noble traits characterizing the late Em- 
peror Frederick III. Ins love and constancy to his family 
life is the most conspicuous. It is declared of hinl that he 
Avas never more happy than in the circle of his wife and 
his numerous children. The old saying, " The life of a full 
nest is the best calculated to the development of nobleness 
of character," because attendant upon the friction of daily 
life — ^the spirit of forbearance, consideration and good-hu- 
mor are nurtured, while a spirit of emulation, a desire for 
approbation, and generosity are equally fostered — was 
never better illustrated than in the household of the 
Emperor Frederick III. 

The story of his private life is so opposed to the ac- 
cepted idea of the homes of kings and princes, that it finds 
few parallels in history, if we except that of his grand- 
father. King Frederick William III. and his wife. Queen 
Louisa. Frederick's home was conducted after the simple 
fashion of private citizens. With all the fervency of his 
conscientious nature, his utmost care and fondest atten- 
tion were directed toward the education and welfare of 
his children, in which task he was worthily assisted by a 
loving mother and devoted wife. 

As an illustration of how Frederick III. lived at home, 
it is related, that one day a prominent staff-officer, ap- 
pearing at the door of his private apartments, was agree- 
ably surprised at the unusual scene there presented. 

In the midst of his boisterous children the Crown 
Prince lay outstretched upon the floor, while his wife sat 
upon the sofa occupied with her needle. The Prince did 
not seem to be disturbed in the least by the entrance of 
the official, who had come on a charitable errand in aid of 
a distressed family. " You see," said the Prince jestingly, 

4d6 " UNSER FRITZ/^ 

upon learning the object of the visit, "my wife and chil- 
dren are all healthy, and have the best of appetites, 
leaving nothing for others." Notwithstanding this declar- 
ation, the venerable officer received a generous gift, after 
wliich the Prince returned to his " fun with the children." 

Another characteristic anecdote is told of the man- 
ner in which he administered family discipline at Pots- 
dam. One of the young princes was proverbially afraid 
of water. He was in the habit, therefore, of refusing to be 
washed. The Crown Prince, upon perceiving this, gave 
orders to the officers on guard at the palace not to give 
the customary salute to the young gentleman when he 
should pass the sentinel. The prince, having thus been 
ignored a few times, did not know what to make of it. 
At last he carried his grievance to his father, who curtly 
replied : " Prussian soldiera do not present arms to un 
washed princes." 

It is not generally known that Frederick III. was a 
Mason, and the fact that he was, and honored the organi- 
zation, will be of interest to the *' craft '' m the United 
States. An interesting reminiscence of his connection 
with the ancient order is preserved in the address of his 
father, William I., who, at the close of the ceremony con- 
ferring the first degree upon his son, said : " To the man 
who has aimed and striven for the highest good, there is 
but one object in life. To a right understanding of this 
object, this social order will lead you. Only make it your 
constant endeavor to hearken to its pious teachings, and let 
it be your determination truly to stand to its rules, and you 
shall find it so. Amongst the uninitiated, no doubt, there 
is suspicion as to the principles of the Order, and clamorous 
voices are ready to traduce it; but, as I can yield to no 

"imSEB FRITZ.'' 497 

one who has never been admitted to the brotherhood the 
right to pass a judgment at all, so I can declare by my 
own knowledge that no heed should be gi ven to the clamor. 
In the future that is before you, you will not fail, I trust, 
to give a proof of your clear and uncompromising de- 
fense of the Order to which you are admitted. The veil 
of secrecy with which it covers itself causes it to be 
attacked, and there are those who maintain that such 
secrecy cannot be indispensable. Thus there are some 
who Avould like to level everything just for the sake of 
having a plain and uniform surface ; and many of those 
who traduce us look only superficially, and do not desire 
to be undeceived. Be it your part, however, to show 
yourself a firm protector of the Order, and so not only 
will you be providing for your own security in the future, 
but you will be sustaining yourself with the noble con- 
sciousness that you are striving to promote what is true 
and good." 

Upon ascending the imperial throne of Germany, 
and the royal throne of Prussia Emperor Frederick IIL 
issued the following significant message to the German 
Keichstag : 

" We, Frederick, by the grace of God, Emperor of 
Germany, King of Prussia, &c., proclaim that, with the 
demise of our beloved father, under 'God's inscrutable 
will, the imperial dignity, with the Prussian crown, has 
devolved upon us, and wo have taken upon ourselves the 
rights and duties bound up therewith. We are resolved 
to keep inviolable and firmly to uphold the imperial con- 
stitution, and by this policy conscientiousl}" to respect 
and guard the constitutional rights of the individual fed- 
eral States and the Eeichstag. Fully conscious of our 


exalted task, after the example of our ever remembered 
father, it will always be our endeavor, in conjunction 
with the princes and free towns of the Federation, and 
with the constitutional co-operation of the Keichstag, to 
shield justice, freedom and order throughout the Father- 
land, safe guard the honor of the Empire, maintain peace 
at home and abroad, and foster the welfare of the 

"By the unanimous readiness with which the Reich- 
stag agreed to the proposals to strengthen the defensive 
power of the Fatherland in order to assure the security 
of the Empire, the late deeply lamented Emperor had the 
last days of his life rejoiced and strengthened. He was 
not, however, permitted to express his thanks to the 
Reichstag. All the more, therefore, do we feel the need 
of transmitting to the Reichstag this legacy of its impe- 
rial master, who is now resting with God. We express 
our thanks in recognition of the patriotism and devotion 
it has again shown. Trusting confidently to the devotion 
and tried love for the Fatherland of the whole people 
and the people's repesentatives, we place the Empire's 
future in God's hands. 
'*Given,at Charlottenburg the 15th day of March, 1888. 

[Signed] "Fkedbeick. 

[ Countersigned] " Bismarck.'* 

To the Prussian Landtag he also addressed the fol- 
lowing message, as King of Prussia : 

" We, Frederick, by the grace of God, King of Prus- 
sia, hereby proclaim and make known, that it having 
pleased God, after the demise of the Emperor and King 
William, our much beloved father, to call us to the throne 

Pic Kaifcriit'lPittmc Pictoria. 


a „^To,..»» i^.r,^" 

unsp:r fritz. 499 

of our ancestors, we herewith send to the Landtag our 

"The sentiments and purposes Yiith which we enter 
upon our government, and the principles on which we 
shall exercise our royal office, have been proclaimed by 
us to our faithful people. Walking in the paths of our 
glorious father, we shall know no other aim to strive for 
than the happiness and welfare of the Fatherland. 

" By conscientiously observing the constitution, fully 
safeguarding all prerogatives of the crown, and loyally 
co-operating with the national representation, the King 
hopes, with God's help, to attain his object, which is the 
happiness and welfare of the country. The condition of 
his health prevents him from taking the oath personally. 
Desiring to declare, without delay, his position regarding 
the constitutional laws, although this could admit of no 
doubt, he now solemnly undertakes to adhere to the con- 
stitution firmly and inviolably, and to rule in conformity 
with the laws." 

In relation to the newly -annexed provinces of Alsace 
and Lorraine, the following proclamation was issued : 

" Our beloved father, His Majesty, Emperor William, 
having departed this life, in accordance with God's decree, 
the Imperial dignity, together with the laws of the Em- 
pire and the government of the Reichsland, has devolved 
on us. We have taken it over in the name of the Empire, 
and are determined to preserve the rights of the Empire 
over the German territories reunited to the Fatherland 
after a long interval. We are conscious of our duty to 
cultivate in the Reichsland German sentiments and German 
customs, to protect right and justice and to promote the 
welfare and prosperity of the inhabitants. In our endea- 


vors todojasticetothis task we count upon the confidence 
and devotion of the people and the faithful fulfillment of 
their duties by the authorities. We demand and expect a 
conscientious observance of the laws. At the same time 
we shall do our part to extend imperial protection to the 
rights of all by means of an impartial administration of 
justice and benevolent governme t, conducted circum- 
spectly, but with a firm hand. The union of Alsace and 
Lorraine, which a lapse of years cannot impair, again bo- 
comes as intimate as it was in the time of our ancestors, 
before tliese German lands were severed from the ancient 
and glorious union of their kindred countrymen. 

[Signed] " Fbbdebiok. 

[Countersigned] " Hohenlohb. 

" Oharlottenbubg, March 15." 

But the most remarkable documents issued by the late 
Emperor Frederick III. are " The Address to His People" 
and the autographic letters to Prince Bismarck, in which 
his policy is outlined and his high aims and aspirations for 
the welfare of Germany clearly defined. 

The proclamation to his people ran as follows: 

To My People: 

The Emperor has ended his glorious life. In the much- 
loved father whom I bewail, whom my royal house with 
me laments in deepest sorrow, the faithful Prussian peo- 
ple have lost their fame-crowned King, the German 
nation, the founder of its unity, and the newly-risen 
Empire the first German Emperor. His illustrious name 
will remain inseparably bound up with all the greatness 
of the German Fatherland, in whose new creation the 
strenuous labors of the Prussian people and princes has 
met with its most splendid reward. While King William 


raised the Prussian army to the heights of its earnest 
vocation by never-tiring care, a nation's father, he laid a 
sure foundation for the victories which were afterward 
gsiined by German arms under bis leadership, and out of 
which sprang national unity. He thereby secured to the 
Empire a position of power, such as up to that time every 
Grerman heait hjid yearned for but scarcely dared to hope 
for. And that which he won for his people in honorable, 
death-bringing fight he was destined to strengthen and 
beneficially increase by the long and peaceful toil of his 
laborious yeai-s of government. 

" Safely resting upon her own strength, Germany stands 
forth esteemed in the council of the nations, and desires 
only to enjoy in peaceful progress that which she has won. 
That this is so we have to thank Emperor William. In 
his never-wavering devotion to duty, and his indefatigable 
activity, consecrated to the welfare of the Fatherland, he 
was supported by his reliance upon the self-sacrificing 
devotion of which the Prussian people had giyen unvary- 
ing proofs, and in which all the German races shared. 

"All the rights and duties which are connected with the 
Crown Prince and my house, and which, for the time that, 
according to God's will, may be allotted me to rule, I am 
resolved to faithfully preserve, have now passed to me. 
Imbued with the greatness of my mission, I shall make it 
my whole endeavor to continue the fabric in the spirit in 
which it was founded — to make Germany the center of 
peace and to foster her welfare. 

" To my faithful people, who have stood by my house 
throughout the history of the whole century, in good as in 
evil days, I offer my unbounded confidence, for I am con- 
vinced that on the basis of the unbreakable bond between 


the sovereign and the people, which independently of 
every change in the life of the State, forms the unalterable 
inheritance of the house of flohenzollern, my crown rests 
henceforth as securely as it does upon the devotion of the 
country to the Government of which I am now called, and 
of which I solemnly promise to be a faithful King, both in 
happiness and in sorrow. 

" May God grant me His blessing and strength to carry 
out this work to which my life shall henceforth be 
devoted. '' Fkedekiok. 

" BerUn, Mai'ch 12th, 1888". 

The autographic letter to Prince Bismarck contains 
probably more truly loyal and high minded sentiments, 
than were ever officially communicated by a powerful 
monarch, to his prime minister : 

" My DfiAB Prince — At the commencement of my reign 
it is necessary for me to turn to you, for many years the 
trusted servant of my late father, who now rests in God. 
You are the true and courageous counsellor who gave to 
his policy its aim and form, and secured its complete 
f uliUment. You, I am in duty bound to warmly thank 
for the maintenance of my house. You have, therefore, 
the right, before all others, to know what are the stand- 
points which will be the guiding spirit for upholding my 

'* The ordinances, the Constitution, and the right of the 
Empire and of Prussia must, before all, be consolidated 
in veneration and in the customs of the nation. The 
concussions, which frequent changes in State regulations 
and measures entail, should be avoided as much as 
possible. The advancement of the administration of the 
Imperial Government must be left undisturbed on the 

« TT^TO^n ^:^Tr», 5> 


firm foundation whereon the Prussian State has hitherto 
rested in security in the Empire. 

"The constitutional rights of all the Federal Govern- 
ments must as conscientiously be respected as those of 
the Eeicbstag, but from both a similar respect for the 
rights of the Emperor must be expected. At the same 
time we must keep before our eyes that these mutual 
rights must only serve for promoting the public welfare, 
which remains the supreme law of the land, and wliich 
must always be employed in fully satisfying any fur- 
ther and undoubted national requirements which may 

"As the necessary and surest guarantee of the unim- 
peded execution of these tasks, I see the unabated main- 
tenance of the warlike power of the country, of my well- 
tried army, and of the navy now growing up, for which 
important duties have arisen in the acquirement of trans- 
oceanic possessions. Both must at all times be maintained 
by the full completion of their organization, which already 
forms the foundation for their fame, and which insures 
their further effective service. 

"/ am resolved to conduct the Oovemment^ hoth in the 
Empire and in Prussia^ with a conscient/iouB observation 
of the provisions in the constitutions of each. These have 
been founded by my predecessor's throne upon the wise 
recognition of the irrefutable necessities for the settlement 
of the difficult task arising in the social and official life of 
the country, and must be observed on all sides in order 
to insure their force and beneficent efficacy. I desire that 
the bases of religious toleration which for centuries past 
were held sacred by my house shall continue to be extended 
to all my subjects of whatever religious community or 


creed. Every one of them stands equally near my heart, 
for all have shown equally complete devotion in times of 

" In agreement with the views of my imperial father, I 
shall warmly support all efforts calculated to improve the 
economical prosperity of the different classes of society, to 
conciliate their opposing interests, and as far as it is in my 
power to alleviate unavoidable perplexity, without^ how- 
eiJer^ raising the exj>eciati<m8 as though it were possible to 
end all ills of society by State intervention. 

" Closely bound up with the social question, I regard 
that of the education of 3'outh. The efforts to this end 
must be on a higher scale and more widely accessible. 
We must avoid ci'cating dangers by partial education and 
awakening demands which the economical powers of the 
nation cannot satisfy. We must also be careful that 
through one-sided efforts for increased knowledge the task 
of education shall not be neglected. Only a generation 
growing up upon a sound basis, in the fear of God and in 
simplicity of morals, can possess sufficient rising powers 
to overcome dangers which in times of rapid economical 
'movement arise for the entire community through ex- 
amples set by highly luxurious individuals. 

"It is my will that no opportunity be lost in the public 
service to offer every opposition to temptation dispropor- 
tionate to proper expenditures. My unbiased considera- 
tion is that every proposal of financial reform be assured 
in advance, unless the long-proved economy in Prussia 
will not permit the avoidance of the imposition of fresh 
burdens and effect an alleviation of the demands hith- 
erto made upon the country. 

" The self-government granted the greater and lesser 


communities in the State I consider beneficial. On the 
other hand, I would suggest for examination of the ques- 
tion the right of levying taxes conferred upon these com- 
munities, which is exercised bv^ them without sufficient 
regard for the burden simultaneously imposed by the 
Empire and the State, may not weigh unfairly upon indi- 
viduals. In like manner it will have to be considered 
whether, in simplifying matters, a change in organizing 
the authorities, wherebv a reduction in the number of offl- 
cials would permit an increase of their emoluments, should 
we succeed in maintaining in their strength the bases of 
the State and social life. It will specially gratify me to 
bring to its full development the blossom which German 
art and science shows so rich a measure for realization. 

*' These are my intentions, and, counting upon your 
well-proved devotion, and on the support of your tried 
experience, may it be vouchsafed me thus, with the unan- 
imous co-operation of the organs of the Empire, and the 
devoted activitj' of the representatives of the people, as 
well as all the officials, and the trustful collaboration of all 
classes of the population, to lead Germany and Prussia to 
new honors in the domain of pacific developments. 
Careless of splendor and glorious achievements^ I shaU he 
contenty if H can he liereafter said of my government that 
it has heen heneficial to my people^ useful to my covmiry^ 
and a hlessing to the Empire. 

" Your affectionate 

" Frbderigk." 

Of the Emperor's reign of ninety-nine days, history 
records not one so melancholy ; a monarch though he was, 
not a day of his reign could he call his own in the sense 
of absolute freedom from physical suffering; never 

506 "UN8ER FRITZ." 

formally crowned, because unable to appear before the 
Reichstag to take part in the ceremonies necessary to the 
assumption of the imperial power of Germany and Prussia. 
His tragic reign was not, however, without a certain 
compensation, if fame is the prize which men most aim 
for. The pains and sorrows of his last years brought to 
him the pity of all mankind, while the patient and cheerful 
stoicism with which he bore his affliction drew from the 
world eulogies of the loftiest character. He left behind 
him a singularly high reputation; and it is not too much to 
say that he was the most loved ruler that ever reached a 
European throne. It was matter of regret for some years 
among many of the Emperor William's subjects that he 
did not in his later reign and enfeebled state of health 
associate his honored and competent son more intimately 
in the management of German affairs, some going so far 
as to aver that both people and prince would have been 
well pleased had he gracefully placed the imperial mantle 
upon the shoulders of his son, ere disease had robbed him 
of all desire to rule and taken from him all enjoyment 
in life. Even before he ascended the throne, IVederick 
had demonstrated in a quiet and modest manner that, 
although his mind was of a different order from his 
father's, it was one that marked him out as well fitted for 
his high destiny. He came, indeed, into the world of 
politics with a solid reputation as a soldier. It did not 
fall to his lot to organize great wars like the veteran 
Moltke, but he bore the burden and heat of the day in two 
of the greatest campaigns of modem times, and divided 
the honors of both with Prince Frederick Charles. His 
soldiering was quite as notable for prudence as for brilliant 
qualities ; it was conspicuous, also, and perhaps above all 



things, for his power of making himself popular with the 
rank and lile of his army. In politics he showed sub- 
stantially the same qualities as distinguished him in war- 

" Our Fritz " of the battle-field would have been " Our 
Fritz " of the Fatherland, if the chance had ever come to 
him of manifesting fully what he was made of. As it is, 
Europe has lost, by his death, one of the most open- 
minded and magnanimous of her leading public men. He 
was the hope of the liberal party of Germany. 

As has been said before, the last few months of Fred- 
erick's reign was but a weary chronicle of suffering, borne 
with great fortitude and cheerfulness, and watched with 
alternate hope and fear by all Europe. The immense 
crowds of citizens of all classes waiting patiently day after 
day before the palace gates at Potsdam for the official 
bulletins, or for a sight of the Emperor at his window, 
was the most eloquent and touching tribute to his worth, 
and a striking testimonial of the appreciation in which he 
was held by the people. 

The Emperor's ailment was a throat disease, but its 

malignant character had not been fully developed until 

1887, when an operation of the larynx was determined 

upon. A year of cahn, dignified and resigned suffering 


Day after day the public were informed of what 

appeared to be his gradual restoration to health, and what 
seemed like adequate proof of this was afforded by his fre- 
quent drives through the streets of Berlin. It did not 
seem to be credible to the Germans that the robust sol- 
dier, the handsome, stately figure which they had seen 
but a few years before at the head of the German armies, 

608 "UNSKR FRITZ.^* 

throwing terror and dismay into the ranks of Germany's 
enemies, should actually have been smitten by a malady 
which might prove fatal. The mere rumor, much more 
the reality, called forth a prompt and sustained outburst 
of strong, sympathetic feeling. For, though he was mod- 
est and retiring, and had been only the dutiful first sub- 
ject in a mighty empire, he ha<l won the hearts of friends 
and foes, and men in all lands looked toward him as one 
who would be a great, just and kindly sovereign when he 
should be permitted to rule. That day came, but under 
what tragic conditions 1 The aged Emperor died afar 
from his "dear Fritz," whom he so longed to see again, 
and Fritz himself, bereft of the power of speech, was com- 
pelled to cross the Alps, ill as he was, in order to take 
his place at the heiul of an empire, and yet was not per- 
mitted to stand beside his father's bier I Few more touch- 
ing journeys have been recorded than this of the stricken 
Prince from his sunny refuge on the Riviera to a city — a 
nation — in mourning, deep and sincere. A profoundly 
impressive accession; watched with eagerness and sym- 
pathy, not only in Germany, but beyond the Atlantic, on 
remote Af^.can plains, and on the shores and islands of 
the Farther East — wherever the English and the German 
tongues are spoken. 

Thus vacillating between hope and fear, it became 
known to his admiring subjects that the Emperor had 
experienced a relapse; that his original malady was com- 
plicated with others of as serious a nature. The alarm 
which prevailed at San Remo before the operation of tra- 
cheotomy had been performed was revived, and with good 
reason. Again, however, so unwilling were the people lo 
relinquish the long-deferred hope of seeing him upon the 

'^UNSKR FRITZ.*' 509 

throne of Germany, came the news that his disease had 
assumed more favorable conditions; that his improve- 
ment allowed him to attend the marriage of his second 
son, Prince Henry, and the idea finally found lodgment 
in the public mind that, after all, Frederick III. would 
regain sufficient health to reign for a few years, at least. 
It was not to be, however. For his disease there was 
alleviation, but no cure; and on June 12th the fatal re- 
lapse occurred. At midnight, June 14th, there seemed to 
be a slight improvement in his condition. He was prepar- 
ing to sit up for a half hour in his arm-chair. He then 
returned to bed, and at midnight the Empress dismissed 
the Crown Prince and other members of the Imperial 
family to their apartments, and prepared herself to pass 
the night-watch in a room adjoining the sick chamber of 
the Emperor. Dr. Hovell shared in the vigil. At this 
time the Emperor was in the full possession of his facul- 
ties. Shortly after 1 o'clock he Tvrote on a slip of paper 
the following questions, which he handed to Dr. Hovell: 
" How is my pulse ? Are you satisfied with it ? " He then 
wrote something more, but retained the piece of paper in 
his hand after erasing the words. Between 3 and 3 
o'clock his breathing became terribly labored, and some 
moments of struggle would occur, alternating with 
spasms and great distress as the hanl fight with approach- 
ing death progressed. By this time the strength of the 
dying Emperor was seen to be waning. As soon as it 
became evident that the end was near, the Empress 
. caused the royal family to be summoned. At 8 
o'clock all gathered around the bedside. Dr. KiJgel, 
Court Chaplain, who had been summoned by telegram 
from Ems, did^not arrive in time to administer the last 

510 "UNSER FBITZ.'* 

sacrament. Dr. Persius, therefore, officiated in his stead. 
Pastor Eogge was also present in tJie death chamber. 
During the administration of the sacrament, and indeed 
even to within fifteen minutes before his death, the 
Emperor appeared to be quite conscious. He showed by 
tlie expression of his eyes and. by the movements of his 
eyelids that he still recognized all who approached the 
bedside, relatives and others. 

During the last hour the Empress held the Emperor's 
right hand, and the Crown Prince and Crown Princess 
stood on the left side of the death-bed. 

A touching scene occurred at the bedside on the morn- 
ing of June 15th, while the Emperor's life was passing 
away. Bismarck had called to bid his dying master a last 
farewell. The Emperor was thoroughly conscious, and, 
taking the hand of the aged Chancellor in his own feeble 
grasp, and motioning the Empress to draw nearer, he took 
her hand and joined it with that of Bismarck, thus giving 
a silent and pathetic token of his desire for a reconcilia- 
tion of all differences between his wife and the Prime 

His death gave to Germany her profoundest moment 
of grief. Every mark of esteem was shown at the fare- 
well ceremonies attendant upon his burial. When the 
procession reached the church it was filled with more than 
a thousand wreaths of flowers that in no way suggested a 
funeral. The laurel wreath lying on the coffin was given 
to Frederick by his father after the battle of Worth. 
The Dowager Empress Augusta, the Princess of Wales, 
and all the daughters of the late Emperor were waiting in 
the church when the procession arrived. Forty clergy- 
men preceded the coffin up the aisle and formed a semi- 

IDilt)eIin 11-, Kaifec ron Heutftt^lonD unt> KSni^ Don pitngen. 


« wr^^^t^ ir-orr^ » 


circle aroand it as it was Dlaced on the altar. The Chief 
Court Marshal, Prince Badolinski, and four other Marshals, 
assisted by the Ministers of State, placed the crown and 
other insignia of royalty around the coffin. While the 
organ played softly, a hymn was sung, and then the Court 
Preacner K5gel read a chapter from the Bible. Then, as 
salutes were being jQred from without, the young Emperor, 
William II., accompanied by the King of Saxony, went 
forward to take a last farewell of the dead. The choir 
chanted softly, and the royal and princely personages 
drew back. The King of Saxony bent forward and 
kissed the cloth that hung from the coffin. For a 
moment the young Emperor stood erect, and then, 
dropping suddenly on his knees, he seized the cloth with 
both hands and buried his face in it. What his thoughts 
were, who can tell 2 The older King knelt beside him. 
After a long time the young Emperor arose, and, with his 
head bent down, moved to the side of the altar. One 
after another the others went forward and kissed the 
robe, and the funeral of Oermany's martyr Emperor was 



EMPEROE FEEDERIOK III. had hardly breathed 
his last, when his son, Frederick William, born at 
Berlin, January 27, 1859, was raised to the throne of Prus- 
sia and imperial power of Germany, as William 11. It 
would be both unprofitable to the reader and equally un- 
just to the young Emperor, to enter upon wild prognostic 
cations concerning his aims or probable policy. There is 
nothing in his antecedents, nor utterances since assuming 
his imperial title, to justify the assumptions of certain 
publicists that his reign will be of a despotic character, or 
that he would recklessly precipiate his country into 
a foreign war. 

What we do know of him is, that like all of the 
Hohenzollems, from the Great Elector, with one or two 
exceptions, he has a penohmU for military Ute, and will 
always regard his army as the strongest safeguard to the 
maintenance of good order and the continued stability of 
Germany — a conviction which can not be said to be with- 
out justification, when it is remembered, on the one side, 
that under Austrian supremacy, in the Reichstag of 1849, 
attempts were made to liberalize Germany, and on the 
other side, the crude and visionary schemes of the social- 
ists for fundamental changes in the form of the imperial 

We also know of him that, aside from his military 
training, he has received a liberal education, first at the 
Gymnasium (high school) at Cassel, where it is said his 



manner of training was thoroughly democratic, the prince 
being placed upon an exact equal footing with the hum- 
blest of his comrades. Here he remained several years, 
graduating among the first of his class. From Cassel he 
was sent to the University of Bonn, where it is well known, 
the slightest attempt on the part of the distinguished 
Hohenzollern to assume " princel}'^ airs," would have been 
met by the whole corps of students with sneers of deris- 
ion. The fact that on his graduation from the Uni vei-sity, 
at a collation given in his honor, he gave expression to 
sentiments which Avere in full accord with those of the 
most democratic and humblest of his fellow-students, is 
also to be placed upon his credit side. During his speech 
he said, after the health of his grandfather and his own 
had been drunk, " I thank you gentlemen, first of all, for 
the salamander you have so heartily drank to the health 
of my grandfather and then to me, and I cannot but ex- 
press the deep pain I feel at the thought of leaving your 
joyful ranks so soon. I thank you for having received 
me as a corps student. I have learned to know the spirit 
animating the fighting clubs as well at their duel ground 
as in their social gatherings. It is a good and right hon- 
est German mood, and I will remain true to the spirit of 
this corps till the end of my life." 

Upon his return from the University, he at once en- 
tered uiK)n his military career. It was on this occasion 
that Emperor William gave him the following fatherly 
talk : " You have learned from a study of history that 
all the kings of Prussia have, together with their 
duties as regents, always paid chief attention to the 
army. The great Elector gave a mighty example to his 
hosts bv his own personal courage. Frederick knew very 


well when be placed the crown upon his head that he 
would be compelled to defend his steps. He knew well, 
however, that his troops, tried in battle, would enable him 
to do so. Frederick William I., in the garrison which 
you now enter^ and which has been well called the cradle 
of the Prussian army, laid the firm foundation to its or- 
ganization by the strict discipline which he introduced, 
without which no army can exist, and this spirit still lives. 
Frederick the Great, possessed of natural talent as a com- 
mander, took this firmly built organization as the basis of 
the army with which he made war and fought battles 
that made him immortal. In the last year it was the 
Prussian army, with its invincible courage, its steadfast 
endurance, that enabled Prussia to attain the great posi- 
tion she now occupies. Your youth fell in these days. 
*"" You have in your father a noble example in the guid- 
ance of wars and of battles. In the service which you 
are about to enter, however, you will come across matters 
that may seem insignificant to you ; but you wiD learn 
that in the service nothing is small, and that every stone 
belonging to the structure of an army must be properly 
formed if the completed edifice is to be firm and lasting; 
therefore, I bid you go and do your duty." 

On the 27th of February, 1881, Prince William waa 
married to Princess Augusta Victoria, daughter of the 
late Grand Duke of Schleswig-Holstein. Four sons have 
been born to them, the eldest of whom is now the Crown- 
prince, Frederick William, and is six years old. 

A slight incident transpired in 1885, which, although 
insignificant in itself, proves the young Emperor to be a 
man above the punctilious observances of the oldregimes, 
and also furnishes a glimpse of his personal character. 




At a fine-art exhibition in Berlin, at which it was 
known the Prince would be present, Mr. Adolph Loeb, of 
Chicago, was invited. Knowing the old severity of court 
etiquette, Mr. Loeb, when asked to attend, said " he would 
not be able to appear in a swallowtail, as he was only 
traveling in Europe on business." Being assured that 
the absence of this garment would not be noticed by His 
Eoyal Highness, Mr. Loeb consented, and in passing be- 
fore the picture on exliibition, unexpectedly met and was 
introduced to the Prince. After saluting him, Mr. Loeb, 
doubtless deeming the Prince the man he is, replaced his 
hat, as he would have done in a public place after salut- 
ing the President of the United States. Naturally, the 
courtiers surrounding the Prince were dumbfounded, but 
the Prince seemed not to notice this departure from the 
usual formalities, and appeared to enjoy meeting a man 
who had either forgotten or never learned the art of 
"foot-scraping" before royalty. During the remainder 
of the exhibition, the Prince repeatedly returned to Mr. 
Loeb to talk of Chicago, to which city he had made a 
flying visit some years before, and upon parting, cordially 
shook hands with him, and wished Mr. Loeb to take his 
greetings to his fellow Germans in Chicago. 

The admiration of William II. for Chancellor Bismarck 
is well known, and it is the knowledge of this fact which 
fills the minds of the socialistic agitators with appre- 
hension, as well as the sober-minded conservatives with 
feelings of satisfaction and security. 

No true friend of Germany's well-being will indulge 
in gratuituous forebodings concerning the probable course 
of her youthful ruler. There is an impression abroad, 
that a well-defined streak of practical common sense has 


governed the rule of action of the Hohenzollern family 
from its earliest period, and it will require more than the 
simple assertion of speculating pessimists to eradicate 
this soothing impression. It may be well here to remem- 
ber, that those in the old Fatherland, who, before the 
difficulties with Austria and France, were bitterly opposed 
to King (Emperor) William's urgent demand for ample 
army appropriations, have long since acknowledged, they 
were wrong and he was right. 

The American, who is only a distant ^nd disinterested 
observer, when confronted with lugubrious prognostica- 
tions about the willful and autocratic disposition of 
Emperor William II., will wisely interpose his standing 
admonition of fair play, to wit: ^'Give the man a 

May 5 - 1915